Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Courtesy | Utah Department of Transportation The state-owned ferry that transports passengers and vehicles between Bullfrog and Hall's Crossing marinas on Lake Powell crashed during spring testing and won't begin operations until later this summer.
Parts search sinks early opening for Lake Powell ferry
After crash » International hunt for parts only partially successful; shops manufacture others.
First Published May 15 2014 11:42 am • Last Updated May 15 2014 09:40 pm

An international hunt for replacement parts for the crash-damaged ferry at Lake Powell was only partially successful.

So, "Sixteen parts are being manufactured locally by shops in Salt Lake Valley," said Kevin Kitchen, spokesman for the Utah Department of Transportation. The Utah Transportation Commission requested that update on ferry repairs as it met in Monticello on Thursday and Friday.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

That’s bad news for ferry operations that originally were scheduled to begin this week. Because of problems with repairs, the scheduled opening remains pushed back to July 1.

The ferry crashed on March 12 during a test run conducted amid work on generators, with what reports said was an inexperienced crew in strong winds. It ran aground and into a canyon wall, damaging all its propellers and outdrives, the part of the steering and propulsion system that is outside the hull.

Unfortunately, the manufacturer of the outdrives has gone out of business, which forced the international hunt for salvaged parts — and now the manufacture of some.

Parts that were found, Kitchen said, have been shipped to Utah or are on their way.

Kitchen said obtaining all parts will still take another two to three weeks. Installation and testing will take another week or so. Then the manufacturer of the engine will require several days to calibrate instruments. Finally, the U.S. Coast Guard will need to inspect and certify the repairs.

The ferry, owned by the Utah Department of Transportation but operated by concessionaire Aramark, connects northern and southern portions of State Road 276 in scenic Garfield, Kane and San Juan counties.

Damage is estimated at about $150,000, Kitchen said. The state contract requires Aramark to carry insurance for accidents, and that is expected to cover the costs.

Kitchen said the ferry ridership averages 11,000 to 14,000 people annually. The state subsidizes operations beyond what fares raise by about $100,000 a year, but it was $118,000 last year, Kitchen said. Local counties consider it a contribution to help tourism in the area.

story continues below
story continues below

The ferry runs seasonally, roughly between Memorial and Labor days, although dates vary year to year. Kitchen said the ferry needs the lake level to be at a minimum elevation of 3,580 feet to operate, which usually occurs after spring runoff.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.