By TRIBUNE STAFF
Published May 30, 2012
Washington State Ferries selects ferry terminal location
MUKILTEO - Washington State Ferries selected putting a new Mukilteo ferry terminal one-third of a mile east of the existing terminal and partially onto the U.S Air Force Tank Farm.
Elliot Point 2, the preferred site alternative, would best avoid environmental impacts and addresses problems at the existing terminal, which is located at the foot of Front Street and state Route 525, according to WSF.
The site selection would not remove downtown businesses such as Ivar’s. An option to enlarge the existing ferry terminal would have taken the Ivar’s restaurant out.
The site was selected after hearing from the public, other government agencies and tribal leaders.
“We have worked for several years with ferry riders, community members, elected officials, tribes and others to get to this point, which moves us one step closer to building a new Mukilteo ferry terminal,” said David Moseley, assistant transportation secretary, Ferries Division. “Next, we look forward to completing the environmental process so we can move forward to secure funding for final design and construction.”
Elliot Point 2 is located on the western portion of the U.S. Air Force Tank Farm. Constructing the new terminal at this location would cost approximately $120 million to $130 million. The Legislature has, so far, identified $90.1 million for the project, including $29 million in federal planning and design grants. Current federal funding will allow WSF to complete the final environmental impact statement (EIS). The project may apply for additional federal funds once the EIS process is complete.
A final EIS will be completed in the spring of 2013.
The Mukilteo/Clinton ferry route is the state’s busiest for vehicles and has the second-highest annual ridership, serving more than four million riders in 2011.
The existing terminal has a 60-year-old dock in need of significant repairs and upgrading, inadequate passenger connections between the ferry and nearby rail and transit facilities, and pedestrian and vehicle conflicts.
In March, the Mukilteo City Council approved a resolution stating its preferred alternative was Elliot Point 1, also located on the tank farm site but farther east.
Here’s what Mukilteo officials had to say about WSF’s preferred alternative:
Mayor Joe Marine: “As you know, I would have preferred Elliot Point option 1, however, Option 2 is far better than the rest and it is the best option regarding the multi-modal connections. We will continue to work with WSF to build the best terminal for the Community and the ferry users.”
Councilwoman Jennifer Gregerson: “I preferred option 1, but the preferred alternative option 2 will be great. It will improve bus service with a new transit center, help meter traffic up the Speedway improving local access, saves Ivar’s location and creates the possibility of a vibrant future for the waterfront. I hope we can work with WSF to make sure their ferry employee parking isn’t placed on the corner of the best part of the site, across from Ivar’s and the Diamond Knot.”
For more details on the preferred alternative, click here.