$4.7 million federal grant aids Mukilteo ferry terminal move

The long-awaited project to move the Mukilteo ferry terminal has received a boost from a $4.7 million federal grant.

The money, from the federal Department of Transportation, is part of a $129 million project to move the terminal to part of a 22-acre parcel that was the former site of the U.S. Air Force fuel tank farm.

“It’s a piece of the funding; it’s very welcome,” said Jean Baker, a deputy chief of administration and finance for the Washington State Ferries.

The project is nearing the end of its environmental review with a decision expected by the federal Department of Transportation in the next month or two, she said.

Construction on the new ferry terminal could begin this summer. It’s expected to be completed in 2019, Baker said.

The new terminal will replace the current terminal, used by 3.9 million vehicles and riders last year. The ferry system says it needs to be replaced because of its age and its susceptibility to earthquakes.

Once complete, the new terminal will have a pedestrian loading bridge, a six-bay bus transit center and improved connections to the nearby Sound Transit commuter rail station.

A second federal grant, for $2.2 million, will be spent to upgrade the Edmonds ferry terminal, which also is in need of improvements to better withstand earthquakes, Baker said. A trestle at the terminal is built on land that is not very stable, she said. The project calls for drilling holes into the dirt and injecting grout into the fill dirt to improve its stability, she said.

The project will be done in a way to minimize disruption to ferry traffic, Baker said. Last year, the Edmonds/Kingston route was used by 3.8 million walk-on passengers and drivers.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or salyer@heraldnet.com

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