People are a lot heavier than they were a generation ago, so
boats will have to start carrying fewer people.
The Coast Guard, using figures from the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, figures that the typical passenger now
weighs in, with clothing, at 185 pounds. In the 1960s, the last
time the Coast Guard increased its average passenger weight, they
weighed 25 pounds less. So on Dec. 1, the rule to determine how
many passengers ferries and charter boats can carry will be changed
to 185 pounds.
Washington State Ferries won’t have to reduce the number of
people its boats carry, however. They have deadweight capacity
other measures) for full passenger complements at the revised
average weight and then some, said George Capacci, WSF’s Deputy
Chief of Operations and Construction. It relates to the number of
personal floating devices, lifesaving systems and evacuation crowd
control, Capacci said.
The state’s second 64-car ferry, the Salish, will be conducting
builder’s sea trials this week in Puget Sound. It is expected to
begin serving the Port Townsend-Coupeville route this summer,
restoring full two-boat service to the route for the first time
Contractor Todd Pacific Shipyards is conducting sea trials to
demonstrate the ferry to U.S. Coast Guard and Washington State
Ferries inspectors before WSF accepts delivery of it. Later this
spring, WSF crews will begin training and familiarization with the
Salish on the Port Townsend-Coupeville route to get it ready to
sail this summer.
The Salish’s sister ship, the Chetzemoka, began service on the Port
Townsend-Coupeville route in November. For more information about
the Salish, including photos of vessel construction, visit
I got a tip yesterday from Patrick Sullivan of the Port Townsend
Leader that the Hood Canal Bridge was closed from about 10:47 a.m.
to 12:25 p.m. Saturday, causing a long traffic backup. Readers said
they saw a submarine and a tugboat, leading them to believe the sub
was having some trouble and needed a tow. The Department of
Transportation said it was an extended naval opening. The Navy said
it was a bridge problem.
The DOT’s Kelly Stowe finally got to the bottom of things this
morning after talking to the maintenance department. There were two
switch failures simultaneously on a lift span, which caused the
bridge to automatically stop opening. It took the crew
time to troubleshoot the problem. Workers bypassed the system to
get the span halfway open and let the submarine through. The bridge
was closed to traffic for 74 minutes.
The crew replaced the two failed switches later Saturday and
performed a full test opening to make sure it was operating
I love the entry on the new Washington State Ferries blog
—http://wsdotferries.blogspot.com/ — about our spoof on orange
ferries. They call out a couple commenters who actually fell for it
and tell them to lighten up.
The ferries people have really done it this time. In recognition
of National Work Zone Awareness Week, they’ve painted all of the
boats orange for a week — April 4-9.
WSDOT will also post photos and tributes to roadway workers, and
share ideas for work zone safety on its social media sites,
Flickr, Facebook and Blogger.
Media and others across the state are encouraged to show their
orange to honor roadway workers and bring national attention to
motorist and worker safety. You can make submissions on the
Go Orange for Work
Zone Safety website.
“Going orange is an opportunity for all of us to show support
for those working Washington’s roadsides, whether they’re with
WSDOT, cities, counties, utilities or contractors,” said Paula
Hammond, Washington transportation secretary. “By raising awareness
about work zone safety, we help ensure that all workers get home
safely to their families each night.”
UPDATE: April Fools