Federal grant floats Casco Bay Lines ferry replacement

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PORTLAND — A federal grant is steering Casco Bay Lines on a course to replace one of two aging ferries.

“We are ready to go now,” CBL General Manager Hank Berg said May 4 about a $6 million Federal Transit Administration grant announced a day earlier by U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine.

With two of the CBL fleet approaching the end of their useful lives in the next five years, the CBL Board of Directors will vote May 17 on which to replace first, Berg said.

The two oldest ferries in the fleet are the Bay Mist, built in 1985, and Machigonne II, built in 1987. The last addition to the CBL fleet came in 2013, when the Wabanaki went into service.