New site chosen for Washington state ferry terminal

MUKILTEO, Wash. – The aging ferry terminal at Mukilteo should be replaced with a new terminal one-third of a mile to the east, the Washington State Department of Transportation Ferries Division recommended in a recent announcement. This preferred alternative was selected based on public, agency and tribal comments received on the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) released in January 2012.

The preferred alternative, known as Elliot Point 2, would best avoid environmental impacts and would address problems at the current terminal at the foot of Front Street and SR 525, WSDOT said. The list of problems include a 60-year-old dock in need of significant repairs and upgrading, inadequate passenger connections between the ferry and nearby commuter rail and transit facilities, and pedestrian and vehicle conflicts.

The Mukilteo/Clinton ferry route is the state’s busiest for vehicles and has the second-highest annual ridership, serving more than four million riders in 2011, according to the release.

“We have worked for several years with ferry riders, community members, elected officials, tribes and others to get to this point, which moves us one step closer to building a new Mukilteo ferry terminal,” said David Moseley, assistant transportation secretary, Ferries Division, in a statement. “Next, we look forward to completing the environmental process so we can move forward to secure funding for final design and construction.”

A final EIS will be completed by Washington State Ferries and the Federal Transit Administration in spring 2013. As the design and environmental review continues, the preferred alternative will continue to be refined.

Elliot Point 2 is on the western portion of the Mukilteo Tank Farm east of the current terminal. Construction of a new terminal at this location would cost approximately $120 million to $130 million. The Legislature has, so far, identified $90.1 million for the project, including $29 million in federal planning and design grants. Current federal funding will allow WSF to complete the final EIS. The project may apply for additional federal funds once the EIS process is complete.

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