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Ferry repairs to disrupt service to several Alaska communities

Alaska's state ferry system plans to halt service to several small southeast communities until work is completed on one of its vessels.

The ferry LeConte needs costlier work than expected, says state transportation department

The Alaska Marine Highway System ferries LeConte, left, and Malaspina are tied up at the Auke Bay Terminal on July 25. The LeConte needs costlier repairs than expected. (Michael Penn/The Juneau Empire via The Associated Press)

The state ferry system plans to halt service to several small southeast Alaska communities until work is completed on one of its vessels.

According to the state transportation department, the ferry LeConte needs costlier work than expected.

The Aurora is scheduled to be brought into dry-dock Monday. It had been scheduled for an annual overhaul.

The department said it can't afford to fix both and will proceed with repairs on the ferry requiring the least work.

Sam Dapcevich, a spokesman for the ferry system, said Friday that the ferry not repaired would remain laid up. The one that gets work will return to service when the work is done, he said.

Meanwhile, the department said there will be no service to Angoon, Tenakee, Pelican and Gustavus.

Haines, Skagway and Hoonah will have reduced service.

The department, in a release, said potential alternatives to continue service while the ferries are offline are being explored.

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