State says it won’t have money for a new Mukilteo ferry terminal until 2015

Mukilteo city leaders met with state officials this week to discuss the importance of building a new ferry terminal and alleviating traffic in Old Town Mukilteo.

Mukilteo Mayor Joe Marine and several City Council members spent Tuesday and Wednesday in Olympia speaking with the state officials, who included more than 20 lawmakers and state Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond. It was the second straight year Mukilteo officials descended upon the Capitol to rally support for city issues.

“We’re all hearing it’s a tough year, that funding is going in the wrong direction and that we’re dealing with big emergencies instead of the minor ones,” City Council President Randy Lord said. “We’re definitely on the back burner for awhile.”

The state won’t have the money to pay for the planned new ferry terminal in Mukilteo until 2015, Hammond said during her meeting with the Mukilteo group.

Gov. Chris Gregoire wanted $36 million earlier set aside for a new Mukilteo ferry terminal to instead be used to help pay for construction of new ferries to replace the state’s 80-year-old Steel Electric-class boats. The ferry terminal project had already been delayed by questions raised when American Indian artifacts were found on the waterfront.

Mukilteo officials say they can’t plan out future development along the waterfront in Old Town until they know where and when the ferry terminal will be built.

After this week’s meetings, Councilwoman Jennifer Gregerson said she’s confident the planned Mukilteo ferry terminal will eventually receive funding.

“We’ll continue to stay at the top of the list, where we have been,” she said.

Meanwhile, ferry traffic continues to clog up the Mukilteo Speedway, the main road into Old Town. To alleviate traffic, Mukilteo officials have held talks with Everett officials about the possibility for a new road near Japanese Gulch connecting the ferry terminal with Highway 526.

During their meetings with lawmakers earlier this week, state officials seemed open to the possibility of building a new road for ferry commuters, Marine said.

“They’ve been very receptive,” he said.

To offer some temporary relief, Rep. Marko Liias, D-Mukilteo, has proposed a budget appropriation of $300,000 to help pay for a traffic light on Mukilteo Speedway. Liias and Sen. Paull Shin, D-Edmonds, accompanied the Mukilteo officials during their meeting with Hammond.

Reporter Scott Pesznecker: 425-339-3436 or

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