Sparks fly during Secretary Hammond’s visit to Todd Pacific Shipyards

by guest blogger Shawn Devine

Add welder to the list of job duties performed by Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond, who visited Todd Pacific Shipyards on Monday, April 19 to commemorate the start of construction of the state’s second new Kwa-di Tabil Class (64-car) ferry.
Secretary Hammond struck the first arc weld, joining the keel to the first section of hull during the visit. Decked out in a leather welder’s vest, gloves and welder’s mask, Hammond welded her initials onto the vessel’s keel.  She has had numerous opportunities to get behind the controls of excavators and backhoes for highway projects, but this was her first experience as a welder. First Weld
“My initials are in concrete all over the state, but this was the first time I’ve had the opportunity to weld them,” she said.
Hammond was helped by welding supervisor Kevin Olsen who has been with Todd since 1989, who said her work was excellent. First Welders
WSDOT Ferries Division (WSF) is in the process of building three new Kwa-di Tabil Class (64-car) Ferries. The first of these ferries, Chetzemoka, is currently at Todd’s subcontractor Everett Shipyards, where crews are performing final outfitting and sea trials before delivering the vessel to the state.  The second vessel, which is yet to be named, is scheduled to go into service in summer 2011 followed by the third vessel in spring 2012.
Ferry Builders
Workers at Todd Pacific Shipyards with Secretary of Transportation Paula Hammond and David Moseley, Assistant Secretary for Washington State Ferries.