ROCKLAND — Maine has a new addition to its state ferry service, the first in nearly two decades.The 494-ton E. Frank Thompson arrived Friday at the terminal in Rockland.

The Bangor Daily News reports the Thompson will serve the Vinalhaven route, replacing the Governor Curtis, built in 1968.

The $9.25 million vessel, at 154 feet, is larger than the two current ferries that serve Vinalhaven.

The new ferry can carry 22 motor vehicles and 250 passengers. This compares with the 130-foot length of each the Governor Curtis and the Captain Charles Philbrook which now serve Vinalhaven. Each can carry 17 vehicles and about 250 passengers, according to the Daily News.

The Philbrook will continue to operate on the same run, while the Governor Curtis will be kept as the primary backup vessel when another ferry is out of service.

The Vinalhaven route is 15 miles one way and takes one hour and 15 minutes. Last year, the ferries carried about 150,000 passengers back and forth from Vinalhaven.

Construction has taken two years and three months at C&G Boatworks in Mobile, Ala. The Alabama shipyard was the low bidder for the project, said Ferry Service Manager James MacLeod.

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