The wait for the Jumbo Mark II Class ferry, Tacoma, to return to service will soon be over. Crews have completed repairs to the electrical system and are now testing those repairs. Tugboats towed the vessel from Eagle Harbor to Colman Dock Wednesday morning, March 4, where it will start dock trials.
Thursday, March 5, people may see the Tacoma in Elliott Bay or at Colman Dock as crews conduct three weeks of sea trials to thoroughly test the ferry’s new circuit breaker.
“During the past seven months, we inspected and rebuilt the damaged propulsion switchboard system,” said Tim Browning, acting director of vessel maintenance and preservation. “Now it’s time to test the system and make sure it is working properly while the vessel is underway.”
“It was a huge effort to get her sailing again,” said Assistant Secretary Lynne Griffith. “It’s exciting to see the Tacoma back on Puget Sound and I applaud all the engineers, maintenance workers and WSF crew that have worked on this enormous project.”
Once the testing is complete, the Tacoma will undergo its annual U.S. Coast Guard safety inspection before returning to service on the Seattle/Bainbridge Island route in April.
The Tacoma, built in 1997, lost power on July 29, 2014, while traveling from Seattle to Bainbridge Island. A design flaw prevented a protective circuit-breaker device to work as it should. This caused a chain of events that resulted in significant damage to the electrical switchboard components, which ultimately led to the power failure.
Washington State Department of Transportation News - March 5, 2015