Casco Bay, Frenchboro ferrys get millions for new ship, pier improvements

Posted July 30, 2012, at 5:37 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — U.S. Sen. Susan Collins announced Monday $2.4 million in federal funds have been allocated for ferry service in Casco Bay and Frenchboro.

The Casco Bay Island Transit District in Portland was awarded $1.2 million for the engineering and construction of a new passenger ferry. The new vessel will be named the M/V Wabanaki and will replace the M/V Island Romance, a 1973 ferry which had a capacity of 299 passengers.

Another $1.2 million in U.S. Department of Transportation funding will be put toward the Maine State Ferry Service’s design and construction of a new ferry berthing system, transfer bridge, fender system and pier support for the Frenchboro Ferry.

Frenchboro is an island community accessible by a ferry from Bass Harbor.

“Maine’s ferry services are critical components of our state’s transportation system and are vital, not only to tourism, but to maintaining year-round communities on our islands,” Collins said in a statement Monday. “This federal investment will help provide critical upgrades to our aging ferry infrastructure and continue to promote economic development to our island communities.”