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Hiyu to replace Evergreen State on inter-island route

Beginning early February, the Hiyu will replace the Evergreen State on the San Juan Islands inter-island route while Washington State Ferries (WSF) takes the Evergreen State out of service for necessary maintenance and repairs.

The 87-car Klahowya replaced its sister ship the Evergreen State on January 13 and will remain on the Inter-Island route until the Hiyu is available.

"The Evergreen State needs both main engines overhauled and other long overdue maintenance, including steel replacement along the hull," said Paul Brodeur, WSF Director of Vessel Maintenance and Preservation. "It is one of the oldest vessels in the fleet and we must complete this work to ensure its ongoing safety and reliability." Depending on drydock availability, the Evergreen State could be out of service until the beginning of the spring schedule on March 30. During this time, the Klahowya and then the Hiyu will operate on the same schedule on the San Juan Islands inter-island route.

Even though the winter months see less inter-island traffic than in summer months, WSF expects some sold out sailings due to the reduced capacity of the Hiyu. The smallest and most unique car ferry in the WSF fleet, the Hiyu carries 34 vehicles and 200 passengers. The Evergreen State's capacity is 87 cars and 983 passengers.

"We know this will be an inconvenience to our customers and we are doing everything we can to complete this necessary maintenance quickly," said WSF Deputy Executive Director Traci Brewer-Rogstad. "We plan to closely monitor traffic and to adjust schedules if necessary to accommodate inter-island traffic."

WSF is working closely with the San Juan Islands Ferry Advisory Committee (FAC) to be sure the community is aware of what to expect and to allow the public the opportunity to provide feedback or ask questions through their local FAC representatives.

"Our goal is to complete this work during the relatively slower winter months so we are prepared when traffic picks up in the spring," said Brewer-Rogstad.

Customers are encouraged to arrive early for scheduled sailings and to check WSF's Web site for the latest information at www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/ or call 1-888-808-7977.

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