Seattle/Bainbridge state ferry route closed to drive-on passengers Sept. 7-13

Walk-on service offered on a one-boat sailing schedule

SEATTLE ­– Washington State Ferries is replacing the 50-year-old pedestrian walkway at its Bainbridge Island ferry terminal. Setting the massive new walkway structures onto their giant footings requires closing vehicle service on the Seattle/Bainbridge route so crews can safely carry out the work.  

Only walk-on ferry service will be available from 1 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 7 until 3 a.m. Sept. 13 on a one-boat sailing schedule. This means no service for vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, and electric scooters. Walk-on and ADA passengers will board via the existing overhead walkway. WSF will accommodate emergency medical vehicles in coordination with local emergency services.

For people who cannot use the walk-on service, other options include the Seattle/Bremerton route or the Edmonds/Kingston route where a third boat will operate to provide partial daily additional service—as crewing and vessel availability allow—to handle additional vehicle traffic.

Construction takes over holding area

Over six days, cranes will set four bridge spans totaling 338 feet in length into place. The work will take over the entire holding area from the water to the toll booths as the spans arrive by barge and staged in the holding area before being lifted by cranes into their final position. This key milestone allows crews to install the roof and windows of the new walkway and keep the $33 million project on track for early 2024 completion.  

The new seismically safe walkway will be anchored by concrete and steel columns and provide a safer, wider and more direct route to the ferry.

Transit options to the ferry terminal

With walk-on only service available, WSF encourages people to explore public transit options in King, Kitsap, and Clallam counties and walk aboard the ferry.

“There’s no getting around the fact that this is going to be a challenging week for the Seattle/Bainbridge ferry route,” said Sanjay Bhatt, Kitsap Transit marketing & public information director. “Let’s make lemonade out of it.”

“This is a great opportunity to discover the public transit options for getting to and from the ferry terminal. Kitsap Transit operates 10 fixed routes as well as the BI Ride on-demand shuttle and three park & ride lots.”

Vehicle service could resume early if work wraps up ahead of schedule. Frequent users of the route are encouraged to sign up for project and status updates and see the project website for maps, FAQs and other information.

WSF, a division of the Washington State Department of Transportation, is the largest ferry system in the U.S. and safely and efficiently carries tens of millions of people a year through some of the most majestic scenery in the world. For the latest service updates, sign up for rider alerts and track each ferry using the real-time map online.

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25,000 safe animal crossings

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