EDMONDS – For years, Edmonds officials have nurtured plans for a new ferry terminal on the city’s waterfront.
Now, the state is taking custody of what has grown into a $237 million project.
Washington State Ferries will be responsible for the final design of Edmonds Crossing, a planned ferry terminal with bus and train connections, the Edmonds City Council decided last week.
The city will remain active in guiding the project’s development, Edmonds Mayor Gary Haakenson said. The city had overseen the terminal’s design and environmental studies until now because the state was more focused on other projects, he said.
“We’ve kept this project alive in the city for a long time on our own, and handing some of this work over to them was a hard decision for us,” Haakenson said.
“It’s their project; they have to design it to fit their needs,” he said.
The state has budgeted $16 million, including $12 million in federal grants, to pay for final design work through 2009, Washington State Ferries spokeswoman Joy Goldenberg said.
A total of $83 million in state and federal funding has been approved for Edmonds Crossing, according to the Washington State Ferries Web site.
A large road and transit package planned for the November ballot – if approved – would help pay the balance of the project, Haakenson said.
Construction is scheduled to begin in 2012 and be finished by 2017.
“We’re really excited about moving forward on the project,” Goldenberg said.
Edmonds Crossing is crucial for the city’s future, Haakenson said. Commuter traffic at the ferry terminal already backs up on Highway 104 and blocks several streets, he said.
The new terminal is expected to have enough on-site parking to hold 800 cars.
Ferry officials expect to meet soon with representatives from Edmonds, Sound Transit, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and other stakeholder groups to discuss the new terminal, Goldenberg said.
Edmonds Crossing wouldn’t be as far along as it is today had the city not been determined to keep pushing it forward, Haakenson said.
“We consider ourselves kind of co-lead agencies, but this is certainly the first time an outside agency has said, ‘We’re going to take this and run with it,’” he said.
Reporter Scott Pesznecker: 425-339-3436 or firstname.lastname@example.org.