All posts by josh farley

Time to narrow down new ferry names

Name me.

You sent in dozens of names for a new Bremerton ferry.

It’s time to start narrowing them down.

If you’re just joining us, we figured who better to name the boat than the people it serves, and decided to coordinate a community nomination. We’re ahead of schedule. Vigor hasn’t even started building the 144-car boat yet, and it’ll take a couple of years after that before it hits the water.

The ferry’s two sisters, Tokitae and Samish, were named in November 2012. Tokitae is supposed to begin service June 15 on the Mukilteo-Clinton route. Samish will follow in early 2015 in the San Juan Islands. So there’s a lot of lead time.

Washington State Ferries hasn’t told the state Transportation Commission, which is in charge of naming, when it’ll need one. The commission requires three or four months to conduct the selection process, according to Reema Griffith, its executive director.

Believe it or not, we’ll need some strategy to cut down the list. All but one of the current 22 ferries have tribal names. The Transportation Commission’s guidelines state that it values consistency with existing names. To have any shot to get our nomination selected, do we need to stick with Indian words or can we diverge?

Here are the existing names: Cathlamet, Chelan, Chetzemoka, Elwha, Hiyu, Hyak, Issaquah, Kaleetan, Kennewick, Kitsap, Kittitas, Klahowya, Puyallup, Salish, Sealth, Spokane, Tacoma, Tillikum, Walla Walla, Wenatchee and Yakima. Only Evergreen State, which will be retired this summer, has a non-tribal name.

We could play it safe by advancing another Indian name. Ideally, it would have ties to Kitsap since it’ll be based here. There’s nothing that says the new boat can’t leave Bremerton, however. The Chetzemoka, named for a Port Townsend-area chief and meant for the Port Townsend-Coupeville route, now sails off the south end of Vashon Island. They move around.

A couple of existing names, you probably noticed, already have Kitsap ties, like Kitsap. It means “brave” or “war chief” to the Suquamish Tribe. Sealth, or Chief Seattle, was chief of the tribe. There’s no ferry named Suquamish, though, or S’Klallam, our other tribe. Another suggestion sent in was Princess Angeline, Chief Seattle’s eldest daughter. A Mosquito Fleet boat was named for her, and the name made the Final Four for a new Kitsap Transit passenger ferry. It would be strange to have a big Princess Angeline and little Princess Angeline docking in Bremerton at the same time.

I like Enetai and Illahee, Indian words and place names that have been ferry names in the past. Enetai means “across,” “opposite” or “on the other side.” Illahee is “land,” “country” or “place where one lives.” Both are communities just north of Bremerton.

Chico also was suggested. The community between Bremerton and Silverdale was named for a chief who died in 1909 at the age of 105, according to a place name book. That was old in those days, and even now, for that matter.

Another one I like, because it’s a cool word and to mess with the tourists, is Kalaloch. It’s Quinault for “good place to land.”

Guidelines say names of  people should be avoided but will be considered if the person has been dead at least 10 years. They should have enduring fame or have played a significant historical role. How about a person who is an Indian?

Nisqually tribal member Billy Frank Jr., a well-known environmental leader and treaty rights activist, died May 5.

There are three other people you submitted — Tony Radulescu, a state trooper who was shot and killed in 2012 while making a traffic stop on Highway 16 near Gorst; Dennis Allred, a Kitsap County sheriff’s deputy who was shot and killed while on duty on Illahee Road; and Ivar Haglund, a Seattle folk singer and the founder of Ivar’s seafood chain.

Any person’s name is going to be a risk, according to the guidelines. And how do you choose between Radulescu and Allred? Haglund was almost selected the last time around, but there isn’t a local connection, and I don’t know if it was because people were being goofy or really wanted a ferry named Ivar.

Griffith of the Transportation Commission said Friday that the policy is not in stone, it’s just advisory. Ivar probably would’ve been chosen but the commission was concerned about promoting a business.

“We don’t want people to think (tribal names) all the commissioners would ever consider,” she said. “That seems to be the kind of names that come forward from organizations.”

So there are 10 nominations from our readers: Suquamish, Angeline, Enetai, Illahee, Chico, S’Klallam, Kalaloch, Radulescu, Allred and Haglund. If you feel you had a great one that I cut, make a pitch for it, or for something new. I’m still looking for something that I see and immediately know, “That’s the one.” I’ll finalize the list and put it out for vote in a couple of weeks.

Ferry ridership for Seahawks parade: ‘Never seen anything like it’


It’s official: Wednesday’s Seahawk fan trek to Seattle, through the Bremerton and Bainbridge Island ferry terminals, was one for the record books.

In fact, the trip to catch a glimpse of the Super Bowl champs coming down Fourth Street in Seattle blew away pretty much all previous records, with close to 40,000 people traversing Colman Dock.

For comparison’s sake, here’s some recent high water marks for Washington State Ferries. The counts include all passengers traveling through Colman Dock, on both the Bainbridge Island and Bremerton routes:

·         Independence Day – July 4, 2013 :  14,365

·         Mother Day – May 12, 2013:  15,579

·         Average Wednesday for middle of Summer Schedule (July 17, 2013): 15, 774

·         Thanksgiving – November 27, 2013: 15,923

·         Labor Day – August 30, 2013 (Friday before labor day): 16,021

·         Super Bowl Parade – February 5, 2014: 39,411

“With respect to system history, we have 20 and 30 year WSF veterans who have stated that they have never seen anything like it, with respect to the activity at Colman Dock yesterday,” Washington State Ferries Communications Director Marta Coursey told us Thursday.

It appears there’s just no stopping the 12th man.

Manette Bridge: The First Girder Has Arrived

Work on the $57.8 million replacement of the picturesque yet potentially precarious Manette Bridge is still roaring along. And lately, construction spectators like yours truly have noticed that the crews of Manson and Mowat are about to turn a corner.

As Kitsap Sun reporter Ed Friedrich wrote a few weeks back, construction will soon go from vertical to horizontal. Now that the piers have emerged through construction to form the new bridge’s foundation, barges will be bringing in enormous girders to bridge between the piers.

The first of these girders recently arrived (see photo): it’s 123-foot-long and weighs 330,000 pounds, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation. The girder will be placed on Pier 2 — the pier closest to the Bremerton side — sometime this month. We hope to bring you video of crews putting it in place.

Moving a sewer line on the Manette side has delayed the project somewhat but crews are working to make up the lost time. It’s hard to believe that by the end of this year, we may in fact be driving on a brand new bridge.

New Manette Bridge: The Piers Are Taking Shape

Watching the crews from Manson and Mowat build the new Manette Bridge is like a kind of theater.

As someone naive yet fascinated by by such a mammoth project, each day brings its share of surprises. What will spring up next?

We’re now about two months into the $57.8 million project and the piers are taking shape. The 12-foot wide cylinders are mostly filled with giant purple rebar cages (see photos) and crews are pouring concrete into them. The cylinder is plunged deep into the ground underneath the Port Washington Narrows.

On the pier closest to the downtown Bremerton waterfront, a complete concrete base appears to be poured, as you can also see.

Most days, spectators frequent the 80-year-old Manette Bridge’s skinny rickety walkway, wide-eyed like me to watch a construction company perform what seems like a Herculean feat.

Keep it coming crews!

Manette Bridge: Let the Augering Begin

To me, life can be a lot like building a new bridge.

Here’s why: When looking at the complete picture, the tasks ahead can seem daunting. But when taking on things one piece on at a time, life’s projects become doable.

I was in awe watching the second Tacoma Narrows Bridge go up, and now, those of us in Bremerton get a front row seat to the $57.8 million project to build a new Manette Bridge.

If you’ve taken the rickety 80-year-old bridge recently, you know it’s, well, aged. But Washington State Department of Transportation officials say it’s worse than might you think. Using a 100-point scale for “structural sufficiency” (100 being a brand new bridge) they say that bridges with a score of 80 or less demand corrective action. Ones 50 or less are eligible for federal funding.

And the Manette Bridge scored a whopping 16.8.

So we’re getting a new bridge. I’ll be shooting videos, showcasing the construction by contractor Manson and Mowat, until they get ‘er done in early 2012.

What you’re seeing in this first video is the installation of giant steel tubes that will be soon be filled with concrete and form the bridge’s piers. Here’s more from Ed Friedrich’s report:

“… They’re working on steel pilings to support the platform, said Jeff Cook, project engineer for the state Department of Transportation. After the platform is built, a drilling rig will be placed on it. The rig will set a permanent casing — a 12-foot-diameter steel tube — down to the hardpan beneath the Port Washington Narrows. Soil will be augered out of the tube, then a rebar carriage will be placed inside and concrete poured for the shaft. Then it’s on to the next pier. There are two shafts for each pier and eight piers overall.”