Ferries - Bainbridge Ferry Terminal Overhead Loading Fixed Walkway Replacement

Project news

  • Updating project timeline to align with COVID-19 project impacts 

The ferry route between Seattle and Bainbridge Island is the busiest in the system for walk-on passengers. This project replaces the existing overhead wooden walkway with a wider, safer concrete and steel facility built to current seismic code.

Why is WSDOT replacing the overhead pedestrian walkway?
More than 3.2 million commuters, travelers and tourists use the Bainbridge ferry terminal overhead walkway every year. The existing 45-year-old walkway is supported by wooden piles that could collapse during a major earthquake. A reliable overhead walkway that could withstand a large seismic event makes it possible to continue loading vehicles on the car deck while pedestrians simultaneously load the ferry from the overhead passenger walkway.

The End Result
We will replace the existing wooden-supported walkway with a new steel-fortified walkway anchored by concrete and steel columns. The new walkway is designed to withstand a major earthquake. This project also will refresh outdated mechanical and electrical components that power the existing overhead loading bridge. The final design aligns with WSF's 2040 Long Range Plan and incorporates input from the community about the types of windows, flooring and other design details. 

Needs & Benefits

Enhances safety and plans for growth.

  • Designed to remain intact and operational following a significant seismic event.
  • Straightens and widens the walkway, making it easier for people with limited mobility to travel between the ferry and the terminal building.
  • The walkway will have clear glass operable windows for ventilation. 
  • The section of walkway where passengers are likely to line up will have two benches to sit on. One section of the walkway will be heated in order to be energy efficient and cost less to maintain.
  • This project improves safety by removing the existing exterior pedestrian ramp connecting to the overhead walkway. Pedestrians often cut across the vehicle holding area and Kitsap Transit bus turn-around area to get to and from the ramp. Removing the ramp eliminates conflict with vehicles and Kitsap Transit buses.

Project Design Milestones 

  • February 2018 - 30 percent design
  • June 2018 - 60 percent design
  • July 2018 - Public outreach and information sessions
  • Winter 2018 - Summer 2019 - Revise design to respond to public comment and align with WSF's 2040 Long Range Plan 
  • 2020 - Readjust project after COVID-19 impacts

Construction Timeline

  • Oct. 2021 - Advertise to contractors
  • Spring 2022 - Begin construction
  • Early Fall 2023 - Open new overhead walkway
  • Late Fall 2023 - Demolish old overhead walkway
  • Late Fall 2023 - Complete project


Financial Data for PIN 903481A
Funding Source Amount ($ in thousands)
2003 Gas Tax (Nickel Funding) $0
2005 Gas Tax (TPA) $0
Pre-Existing Funds (PEF) $22,189
CWA $0
Total $22,189

Total budget: $19.3 million
Funding sources: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) grant and matching funds from the Washington State Legislature


Hadley Rodero
WSDOT Communications 
(206) 470-0524

Photo of the Bremerton terminal walkway

The new walkway will look similar to the Bremerton terminal walkway, pictured above.


A view of what it will look like inside the new walkway.


Rendering of the new walkway, looking northwest.

Photo of old wooden criss-cross beams that support the existing passenger walkway

The existing 45-year-old walkway is supported by wooden beams that could collapse during an earthquake.

Photo of today's walkway. Fully enclosed with frosted windows

Today's walkway is fully enclosed with frosted windows.