Mukilteo ferry terminal construction crews begin asbestos removal

MUKILTEO — The next step in construction of the new ferry terminal is now under way. Construction crews are beginning asbestos removal from the dilapidated tank farm pier as well as lights and other material from the top of the pier.

“This is an important first step, some of the first activity to start the transformation of the tank farm and reopening of our waterfront,” Mukilteo Mayor Jennifer Gregerson said.

A four-member crew will be working from a barge to do the removal work, said Laura LaBissoniere, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation. The asbestos material will be taken off site by box trucks, Gregerson said. “That will be the first truck that people see coming to the pier.”

Old light fixtures, pipes and other pier material will be cut up and transferred to the barge for disposal, Gregerson said.

What will likely be of more interest to the public is when actual work on the pier dismantling begins, LaBissoniere said. That work is scheduled to start the first week of August, she said.

Gregerson said that people are welcome to watch, but should be careful to do so from shore and at a safe distance.

The gravel path to nearby Edgewater Beach will remain open for as long as possible during construction, Gregerson said. And a second path will open in the next several weeks at the end of the Sound Transit terminal that will meet up with the new road to the beach built by the Port of Everett, she said.

Overall, the pier removal project is expected to cost $11 million. Work is expected to continue through February followed by a six-month break to accommodate migratory fish runs, LaBissoniere said. Work is scheduled to resume in August 2016 and expected to wrap up in February 2017.

All this is being done as part of a $96 million project to relocate the Mukilteo ferry terminal to an area near the former U.S. Air Force tank farm. Construction of the new terminal is expected to begin in 2017 and take about two years to complete.

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

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

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