Bainbridge-Seattle ferry is passenger only — no vehicles — today through Sept. 13

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If you’re planning to take the Bainbridge Island ferry to Seattle between now and Sept. 13, don’t bring your car or other vehicles.

The ferry will be taking walk-ons only as work crews lift walkway structures into place on their concrete and steel pilings as part of the Bainbridge pedestrian walkway project, according to the project page on the Washington State Department of Transportation website. The work began 1 a.m. this morning, and continues through 3 a.m. Sept. 13.

Diagram showing Bainbridge Island ferry walkway project.
From WSDOT: “In September, crews will lift and lower the new walkway structures into place. This view shows how crews will receive and stage the four large bridge spans that will make up the new overhead walkway to the ferry. This work requires using all available vehicle holding space and ferry lanes.”

The route will be operating on a one-boat sailing schedule during that time. The ferry will load only walk-on and ADA passengers via the existing walkway. There will be no drive-on passenger service on the route during that time, including vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, and electric scooters.

Staff will be on hand to assist with the expected increase in walk-on ridership, and accommodations will be made for emergency medical vehicles, according to WSDOT.

Additional service will be available on the Edmonds-Kingston route while the Bainbridge route is closed to vehicles, when crewing and vessel availability allows. “Because the Seattle/Bainbridge route will operate on a one-boat sailing schedule, the second boat is available to provide unscheduled service as a third boat on our Edmonds/Kingston run to handle additional vehicle traffic traveling to or from Bainbridge Island and the Kitsap Peninsula,” WSDOT states.

According to WSDOT, the four bridge spans will arrive from Tacoma via barge, and will be rolled off into the ferry holding lanes. “The longest span, sections 1 and 2 joined together, weighs 90 tons and measures 199 feet long and 18 feet wide,” WSDOT states. “Over two to three days, all four spans will be lifted by cranes and set into place. The other three to four days are needed to erect and stage cranes and equipment, then dismantle and demobilize them.”

Alternate routes for drivers

WSDOT recommends people who usually drive onto the ferry use public transit in Seattle or Bainbridge Island and walk onto the ferry. (People planning to park and walk onto the ferry will find scant parking at the terminal, WSDOT warns, although they may have better luck at adjacent paid parking lots. Kitsap Transit park and ride lots offer an additional 150 spaces. The streets of downtown Winslow are off limits to commuter parking.)

Passengers who must drive are advised to plan ahead and use an alternate ferry route:

More info on Bainbridge Ferry Terminal Overhead Loading Fixed Walkway Replacement

More info on the project is available on WSDOT’s website.

The Kitsap Scene

The Kitsap Scene is an online news magazine covering everything in Kitsap County.

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