Huge disconnected float at Bremerton foot ferry landing

The in basket: My wife and I ferried over to the Blackberry Festival from Port Orchard to Bremerton over the Labor Day weekend and while waiting for the return boat, noticed a huge concrete and steel structure floating just off the end of the foot ferry dock in Bremerton.

There was no connection between it and the foot ferry dock and it had signs forbidding its use for moorage, posted by the Port of Bremerton.

I wondered about its purpose and guessed that Kitsap Transit, whose Bremerton Transportation Center it is part of, would have the answer.

The out basket: I guessed right and John Clauson, Service Development Director for the transit agency, called me back with the information I sought.

It was built by Kitsap Transit as a landing for the large passenger-only fleet that Washington State Ferries had operated.

It was completed about the same time WSF decided it couldn’t afford to stay in passenger-only ferry service, he said.  The huge float sat moored in Commencement Bay in Tacoma, where it was built, for quite a while after that, John said.

When the Port of Bremerton expanded its marina in Bremerton, the float was brought to Bremerton, named A Float, and it now serves as a breakwater that protects boats in the marina from the wakes of landing and departing state ferries, he said. The working foot ferry landing is called B Float.

The old state landing constitutes only part of what I saw, though. The part furthest out in the water is the original, smaller marina’s breakwater, repositioned and still serving that purpose.

A Float will remain where it is, also serving as the moorage for Kitsap Transit’s wake test vessel, nearing completion, in its continuing effort to find a fast ferry design that won’t damage the beaches between Bremerton and Seattle.

It could be hauled away some day, though, if the federal government that provided most of the money for its construction finds a use for it somewhere else, John said.

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