Tuesday/ open: Mukilteo’s new ferry terminal

The Mukilteo-Clinton crossing is 20 mins.

Washington State Ferries operates the largest ferry system in the United States. The system operates 21 ferries across Puget Sound and the greater Salish Sea (the body of water that crosses into British Columbia). The vessels ferry nearly 24 million people annually, to 20 different ports of call.

The new $187 million ferry terminal in Mukilteo opened today, without crowds or fanfare. The new facility replaces the old terminal and dock (constructed in 1957).

Just a few basics first. The dolphins (pillars) help position the ferry’s ‘bow’* in place against the wingwalls, so that the apron can be lowered to cover the gap between the end of the transfer span, and the loading deck of the ferry. (This simple terminal will have to load and unload pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles and cars in sequence). 
Washington State ferries have double-ended hull designs: vehicles can be loaded on & off from both ends of the vessel. After loading, the direction of travel switches — so the ‘bow’ becomes the stern, as the ferry departs. [Graphic from wsdot.wa.gov]
This aerial view of the construction platform is from Feb. 2020. The new Mukilteo ferry terminal is just down the road from the old terminal (at the back; looks like the ferry was just departing for Clinton on Bainbridge Island). The new Mukilteo terminal will allow walk-on passengers & vehicles to board at the same time. [Photo taken by Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times]
Here is an artist’s view from an arriving vehicle that has just left the ferry. [Artwork from lmnarchitects.com]
And this is a rendering of the view of the terminal from the water. There is a new promenade to the left and to the right of the terminal, as well. [Artwork from lmnarchitects.com]
Meanwhile, here in the city of Seattle there is another big ferry terminal construction project in progress: the upgrades to the Colman Dock for the ferries to Bremerton and Bainbridge Island. It is only scheduled for completion in 2023, though.

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