Officials with Washington State Ferries are hosting a series of meetings this week to give details on the $19.3 million replacement of the passenger walkway at the Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal.
WSF notes that more than 3 million people use the overhead walkway at the Bainbridge terminal every year. But the existing walkway — built on wooden piles — is 45 years old and could fall down during a big earthquake, officials said.
Construction of a new walkway — one anchored by steel and concrete columns that would survive a major quake — is planned for summer 2019.
WSF will host open houses for the project on the 4:45 and 5:45 p.m. sailings from Seattle to Bainbridge on Wednesday, July 11; and also inside the Bainbridge Island terminal from 5:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
The project is expected to go to bid this October, with work starting next summer and the new walkway opening in summer 2020.
Demolition of the existing walkway will follow in winter 2020, with the entire project wrapping up by spring 2021.
The new walkway will be wider than the existing one, according to WSF, and will be lined with clear glass windows to replace the current frosted ones. One section of the walkway will be heated, and benches will be added to give ferry riders a place to sit while they wait for their ship to come in.
The existing exterior ramp will also be removed; WSF notes that the ramp is a safety hazard because pedestrians walk through the ferry holding lot and bus turn-around area to get to the ramp.
The project is being funded by a grant from the Federal Highway Administration, plus matching state funds.
The Bainbridge Island-Seattle ferry route is the busiest in the WSF system for walk-on passengers. The route carried 3.3 million walk-on riders in 2017.