Seattle-Bainbridge ferry route reopens to vehicles after construction

Sep 13, 2023, 7:38 AM | Updated: 7:39 am

seattle bainbridge ferry vehicles...

This is the largest walkway span, 199 feet long and 90 tons, that will be picked up by crane and lowered into place. A total of four bridge spans weighing 114 tons and extending 339 feet will be set into place over six days in early September. (Photo from WSDOT)

(Photo from WSDOT)

Update: 9/12

Vehicles are reboarding the Seattle-Bainbridge ferry Wednesday morning after Washington State Ferries reopened the route to cars.

Construction on the new walkway wrapped up Tuesday afternoon as the final two bridge spans were lifted into place. The walkway will open in late fall.

Original: 9/5

Drivers this week on the Bainbridge to Seattle ferry crossing will have to contend with a major disruption as Washington State Ferries (WSF) will close the route to cars starting Thursday.

No cars, motorcycles or even bicycles will be allowed as crews complete work on a new overhead walkway. The work will take place from Sept. 7-13.

More on ferries in Washington: San Juan Islands ferry service resumes Tuesday after grounding

The holding lanes will be used as a staging area for contractors, prohibiting access to vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles. The ferry loading dock will be used for cranes and other equipment as crews replace an aging overhead walkway on the Bainbridge side.

Pedestrians will still have access on a one-boat schedule.

WSF spokesperson Ian Sterling said drivers heading to Seattle can either travel south and drive over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge or head up to the route between Kingston and Edmonds.

The route is expected to reopen to vehicles next week, on Wednesday, Sept. 14.

Until then, the Edmonds-Kingston route is adding a third boat to help get drivers to Seattle.

“Having three boats on the Edmonds-Kingston run, which takes just about a half hour crossing, there should be a boat to take you just every few minutes,” Sterling said.

And because the Edmonds side has been a hot spot for “line cutting,” Sterling said, drivers shouldn’t be surprised if they see troopers keeping watch.

”They don’t always say when they are out and about doing these emphasis patrols, but it’s very possible that they will be looking for line cutters during this time,” Sterling said.

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