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.
What to expect
Drive-on ferry service between Seattle and Bainbridge Island to be closed Sept. 7-13 to install new walkway
The Bainbridge pedestrian walkway project will reach a milestone in September when work crews lift the walkway structures into place on their concrete and steel pilings. This work will happen from 1 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 7 to 3 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13. For these six days, we'll use the alternate one-boat sailing schedule and load only walk-on and ADA passengers via the existing walkway. There will be no drive-on passenger service between Bainbridge Island and Seattle. This includes vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, and electric scooters. We will have staff on hand to assist with the anticipated uptick in walk-on ridership.
We will make accommodations for emergency medical vehicles, in coordination with local emergency services. We are also exploring additional service options on other routes and expect to release more information on that in mid-July. The decision will be based on crewing availability and the overall service restoration plan.
Vehicle holding becomes a staging and work zone
This graphic above shows why crews will need the entire vehicle holding area to carry out this work. The four bridge spans will arrive by barge from Tacoma and 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. 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.
No bicycles or scooters
We separate walk-on and ADA passengers from wheeled vehicles for passenger safety, which is why we cannot accommodate bicycles and electric scooters during the closure. With higher pedestrian volumes, it is not feasible or safe for us to mix pedestrians with bicycles and scooters both inside the ferry and in the terminal waiting areas. For those who want to store their bikes for use on either side of the route, the Kitsap Transit Bike Barn has 79 indoor and 33 outdoor bike parking spaces and we will provide a secure lock up area on the Seattle side or check into bike lockers. Another option is to walk on and use bike share in Seattle.
Alternate routes for drivers
We encourage people who normally drive aboard to walk on and use public transit in Seattle or Bainbridge Island. If you need to drive during this time, plan ahead to use one of these alternate routes:
- Edmonds/Kingston ferry
- Seattle/Bremerton ferry
- Kitsap fast ferry from Bremerton to Seattle (walk-on service)
We know this poses challenges for commuters and other travelers on this route. Working with the contractor, we strove to compress this work into a timeframe that will have the least affect on the public. There is simply never a good time to close ferry service on this busy route. Please see the FAQs below for more information.
Seeking your input to help us with service planning
To help us with service planning during the closure, we've created a customer survey to find out how you plan to travel during this closure. This survey closes June 16 at 5 p.m.
We will release more details in the coming months on this website and via project emails. Subscribe to project emails. The City of Bainbridge Island and others are helping us get the word out via their communications channels. Please share this subscriber link with others who may be affected by these closures.
The interior of the new ADA-compliant passenger walkway will include operable windows with views to the water, seating, and infrared heaters for comfort while awaiting the ferry.