In the spring, Washington State Ferries and local Ferry Advisory Committees toured Puget Sound presenting their 2040 long-range plan. WSF forecasts a need for 16 new ferries and nearly $15 billion for 20 years. If just the Colman Dock rebuild, now estimated at $469 million, is an indicator, $15 billion may not be enough.
Norway, Iceland and the Faeroe Islands all have subsea tunnels that could span Puget Sound. Three possible tunnels — Mukilteo-Clinton, Edmonds-Kingston and Seattle-Bainbridge-Bremerton — would save future billions. The Ryfast Run, the world’s first subsea half-marathon, is opening Norway’s longest and deepest subsea tunnel Oct. 5. The Ryfylke tunnel cost $416 million, less than Colman Dock rebuild.
WSF and Washington State Department of Transportation should enter their fittest engineers in the run. If Amy Scarton, WSF director, stops in Norway on her way to the London Interferry Conference, she may change her scheduled Oct. 7 speech “Transformation at Washington State Ferries.”
Bob Ortblad, Seattle