Weekly update

Each week, WSDOT Assistant Secretary Patty Rubstello, the head of Washington State Ferries, emails an update to staff, colleagues and stakeholders. 

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If you have suggestions or comments about the WSF Weekly Update, email WSFWeeklyUpdate@wsdot.wa.gov.

Each January, there is a special edition recapping the previous year. View the 2020 Year in Review (pdf 1.8 mb).

Here is the latest edition of the WSF Weekly Update:

Feb. 25, 2020

One-boat service for Seattle/Bremerton route

With no spare vessel available, we made the difficult decision late last week to temporarily downsize our Seattle/Bremerton route after Cathlamet suffered unexpected mechanical issues. When the vessel was pulled from service, that left our Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth “Triangle” route with just one boat, down from the normal three as the run has been operating a reduced two-boat schedule since March due to the pandemic. After looking at several scenarios that would affect the fewest riders systemwide, we moved one of Bremerton’s two vessels to the “Triangle.”

Photo of ferry Cathlamet
The 41-year-old Cathlamet was originally expected to be out for at least a month, but after further assessment, repair estimates have decreased to a few weeks.

Until Cathlamet is repaired, we will only operate sailings marked #2 on our Seattle/Bremerton schedule. Over the past week, Kitsap and Yakima have alternated as the route’s single boat. Chimacum is scheduled to return to the route next week and operate as the run’s single boat until work on Cathlamet is complete. I understand the impact this service reduction is having on our customers and apologize for the inconvenience.

Remembering Daria Klos

It’s with great sadness that I share news that a beloved member of the WSF family was killed in a traffic incident in Port Orchard late last week. Daria Klos has been an employee with us since April 2014 and was recently working as an able-bodied seaman on the Seattle/Bainbridge route. I would like to express my deepest condolences to Daria’s family and friends.

Getting to our new Mukilteo terminal

Our new Mukilteo terminal, just two months old, is still growing. Crews are demolishing the old ferry terminal structures to make way for the permanent road (with traffic signals) that will connect the terminal to State Route 525. To reduce confusion about the temporary road into the site, we’ve created a map showing how all modes of transportation access the terminal. The map also shows where people connect with transit.

Map of intersection leading into new Mukilteo terminal
This map showing the lanes leading into the tollbooths at our new Mukilteo terminal is part of a larger map designed to show multimodal connections.

Final steel beam installed atop new Colman Dock terminal building 

Our Seattle Multimodal Terminal at Colman Dock Project reached a big milestone late last week! Contractor crews lifted the last steel beam into place on top of the future passenger building. In building construction, this event is known as “topping out” the structure. Many involved with the project celebrated the achievement by signing the beam before it was hoisted up.

Photo of final steel beam place atop new terminal building at Colman Dock
The final beam of our new terminal building at Colman Dock was installed late last week on the structure’s east side, facing Alaskan Way.

Old Mukilteo terminal being removed and hauled away

Work is moving quickly to demolish our old Mukilteo terminal’s dock structures! Contractor crews removing the facility’s in-water elements at the site will be finished at the end of the month. On land, crews still need to remove the buildings and holding lanes, then build a permanent road into the new terminal.

Photo of demolition of in-water elements at old Mukilteo terminal
Hundreds of creosote-soaked pilings are being pulled out, removing chemicals toxic to marine life.

SR 104 Hood Canal Bridge delays March 1-12

If your ferry plans include a weekday drive across the State Route 104 Hood Canal Bridge from March 1-12, you may want to schedule some additional travel time. An in-depth inspection of the bridge will require multiple draw span openings between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. The bridge will be closed to vehicle traffic, bicyclists and pedestrians during each draw span opening, which can last 15 minutes to one hour.

Photo of Hood Canal Bridge
The SR 104 Hood Canal Bridge will close to traffic several times between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. weekdays from March 1-12.

Nicole McIntosh
Chief of Staff, WSDOT/Ferries Division