MUKILTEO — After more than a decade of planning, construction is ready to begin this year on the city’s new $134.7 million ferry terminal.
The ferry system has been working with the city of Mukilteo on issues such as pedestrian access to the waterfront and ways to reduce traffic impacts on the busy Mukilteo-Clinton route, said Charlies Torres, project manager for Washington State Ferries.
An open house is scheduled from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Rosehill Community Center to provide updates on the project.
Terminal construction will be complicated by the nearby current ferry terminal and a busy waterfront. “In a perfect world, a contractor would have the site all to themselves,” Torres said
Construction equipment can’t enter or leave the construction site after 1 p.m. on Fridays to try to avoid conflicts with ferry traffic on the weekend getaway day, he said.
Mayor Jennifer Gregerson said the ferry system will route construction trucks through the back of the current ferry holding lanes rather than using Front Street. “I think the routes they’ll take to bring trucks to the waterfront are well thought out,” she said.
“They’ve really come around to our point of view ensuring we continue to have access to the waterfront throughout the construction,” Gregerson said.
The city also has talked with workers at the nearby National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s research station “to make sure as the trucks rumble by the building it doesn’t disturb them too much,” she said.
One of the first changes at the site will affect walkers. Pedestrian paths near the waterfront will be moved around as construction progresses over two years. Signs will be posted saying some routes will be relocated or only open after 5 p.m. or only open on weekends.
By late summer, workers will begin installing pilings, the structures which support the foundation of the two-story terminal. It’s expected to be the loudest part of the construction project.
“To make it easier on the community and the environment, the pilings are vibrated most of the way in,” Torres said. Huge machines will vibrate pipes 24- and 30-inches in diameter into the sea floor.
However, impact hammers will be needed for the final five to 10 feet. The pipes have to be installed in perfect position, Torres said. About 60 need to be installed.
Because the terminal is being built right on the edge of Puget Sound, workers will install some of the pilings from the water and some from the land.
Due to fish migration issues, the piling project must stop in February 2018, Torres said.
Storm water pipes will be installed along First Street in the fall. People can expect to hear some noise from earth moving and digging equipment, he said.
Work on the main terminal project begins in March 2018. That work includes building the passenger building, reconstructing seven 700-foot holding lanes and eventually removing the current ferry terminal.
The new terminal, scheduled to open in 2019, will replace the current terminal, which has been in use for more than 60 years.
Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Washington State Ferries has scheduled an open house from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Rosehill Community Center, 304 Lincoln Ave. in Mukilteo. Updated design plans for the new Mukilteo ferry terminal will be displayed and information will be provided on the upcoming construction activity at the site.