The state ferry Columbia will be back in action this weekend, after undergoing repairs in Juneau earlier this week. According to a press release from the Alaska Department of Transportation, the Columbia will resume its regular schedule on Sunday May 12, departing from Ketchikan at 9 a.m. heading northbound.
In an email, Marine Highway spokesperson Aurah Landau said the Columbia isn’t completely repaired yet. The engine manufacturer technician was able to make a temporary fix, and the ferry was cleared to sail by the US Coast Guard.
The Columbia broke down between Sitka and Petersburg on Tuesday night. It was rerouted to Juneau for a diagnosis of apparent engine problems. Passengers heading to nearby Southeast communities were able to catch rides on two other state ferries, but 27 Bellingham-bound passengers remained in Juneau for several days while the Columbia awaited repairs.
Landau says those passengers will take the Columbia to Ketchikan Friday (5/10/19). They will then remain on the ferry for the full northbound route, through Wrangell, Petersburg, Juneau, and up the Lynn Canal. Then the Coluimbia will head south again, returning to Bellingham on the 17th of May.
The Columbia will receive additional repairs when parts become available this summer.