The schedule changes are being made to accommodate the six-year, $350 million renovation of Seattle's Colman Dock. The work began in August. In March, about half the current terminal will be demolished, necessitating more staggered sailings.
Beginning Sunday, Washington State Ferries will shift its schedules for sailings to and from Bainbridge Island and Bremerton, as it prepares to operate during a half-decade of renovations at its dock in Seattle.
About 16 weekday sailings between Seattle and Bainbridge will shift, with afternoon and evening departure times generally moving back by five to 15 minutes.
About 10 sailing times between Seattle and Bremerton will shift, with afternoon and evening departure times generally moving ahead by five to 15 minutes.
The changes, which will last until 2023, are being made to accommodate the six-year, $350 million renovation of Seattle’s Colman Dock. That renovation began in August. In March, about half of the current terminal will be demolished, necessitating the changes to the ferry schedule.
With the terminal roughly half the size that it normally is, sailings are being staggered to make sure that only one ferry, and one set of passengers, is at Colman Dock at the same time. There will continue to be two ferry slips, but the much smaller terminal won’t be able to hold two sets of passengers.
“We haven’t done this since Hammer pants were hip and Amazon only sold books,” Ferries spokesperson Broch Bender wrote in a blog post announcing the schedule changes.
Part of the new terminal will open in 2019, but it will be less than half of its eventual size.
This past summer, lanes of Alaskan Way were repurposed for ferry access, to accommodate the loss of vehicle holding space on the south side of the dock.
The multiphase renovation of Colman Dock is needed to replace aging timber trestles and to reduce the facility’s vulnerability in case of an earthquake.
The section of the dock being replaced has not been significantly changed since 1938. During the project, crews will replace about 2,000 wood trestles, in various states of deterioration, with 500 steel and concrete ones.
The project will eventually result in not only a new dock, but a new terminal building, the new passenger-only ferry building and an elevated walkway connecting the two.
The $350 million project is funded with state and federal money, with King County also contributing money for a new facility for its passenger-only ferries to West Seattle and Vashon Island.
Construction times are limited by environmental concerns. No underwater work can be done between Feb. 15 and Aug. 1, to protect migrating salmon.