Sinkhole near Mukilteo ferry points to larger issue

State engineers suspect there might be a hidden underground water source washing out the area.

A co-worker who commutes regularly by ferry through the Mukilteo terminal wondered when a small sinkhole near the walk-on area might be repaired.

She heard rumblings one day that it might be more than just the sinkhole, and perhaps points to other problems beneath the concrete. Maybe that’s why it hasn’t been filled yet? With a new terminal on the horizon, too, maybe fixes like this are generally on hold?

This is indeed a problem spot familiar to terminal maintenance engineers, said Diana Rhodes, a Washington State Ferries spokeswoman.

“Our maintenance inspectors routinely monitor this area and have restored material under the concrete slabs several times over the years,” Rhodes said. “The concrete bulkhead with rock riprap in front of this area does not appear to be the major issue as far as beach erosion under the wall. Our engineers think an underground water source upland could be washing out the area.

“We will continue to monitor and make restoration repairs as needed at the current ferry terminal until the new Mukilteo ferry terminal opens in fall 2020.”

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