KELLER – Drivers planning to use the Keller Ferry to cross the Columbia River via State Route 21 during the upcoming spring break will need to use alternate routes for their travels.
The Keller Ferry vessel, Sanpoil, will be out of service for hull repairs starting at midnight Friday, March 31. Service is anticipated to resume on Monday, April 10, at 6 a.m., barring any unforeseen circumstances.
During the period, vessel builder, Foss Maritime of Seattle, will repair three hairline cracks located on the side of the vessel. State Department of Transportation ferry operators noticed the cracks during their routine inspections. A team from the Washington State Ferries Vessel Engineering Division will monitor the work. Final approval of the repairs must be issued by the U.S. Coast Guard before the ferry can return to service.
In 2014, Foss repaired a tiny crack on the port side of the vessel where a support rib intersects with a welded seam on the all-aluminum vessel. As a result, operators have kept a close watch for hairline cracks developing at similar locations.
Steering system work will also be performed while the vessel is out of service. Technicians from Rolls Royce Marine will reconfigure the steering gear chains and sensors to prevent the chains from rubbing.