Letters to the Editor

Calls for open bids on ferry construction

One of what I believe to be a nonsense laws requires that ferries be built inside our state. Open bidding for ferry construction is banned, although I believe we could get them built far more economically elsewhere.

British Columbia last year bought three 145-car ferries for on average $79 million per ferry. Their contract offered performance guarantees, and those ships run on diesel or natural gas, whereas our state ferries use only diesel. Meanwhile, our 2007 in-state contract averages $131 million per ship.

Our ban on open bidding may have made sense when it was instituted, but it makes no sense now. It is time to repeal it completely, without limitations. The dollars we are wasting could be used for maintaining the fleet, with no talk about tax increases.

If you want more information on this topic, contact Senator Doug Erickson of the 42nd District.

Judy Criscuola