By 2020, there should be a new Colman Dock

Ferry folks will be riding the Bainbridge and Bremerton boats this week to tell people about plans to renovate Colman Dock in Seattle.
It’s not the fancy expansion and redevelopment they were talking about earlier, with a garden on the roof and all. It’ll just be fixing up what’s there, a big job in itself. The cost is estimated at $210 million.
The big plan was shelved because of low ridership projections and the focus on preserving existing facilities, according to a Department of Transportation information sheet. But the same paper says by 2030, the Seattle-Bainbridge Island route’s ridership is expected to increase by 39 percent, and by 25 percent for Seattle-Bremerton. Last year, 8.5 million riders used the Seattle terminal.
Part of the environmental process’ first step is outreach, which is bringing officials aboard the ferries. They’ll ride the 4:40 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 6:20 p.m. sailings from Seattle to Bainbridge on Wednesday and the 4:20 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. departures from Seattle to Bremerton on Thursday. The following Thursday, Feb. 16, there’ll be a public meeting from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Puget Sound Regional Council board room, 1011 Western Ave., Suite 500, a short walk from the dock. Public comments will be accepted between Wednesday and March 15.
Colman Dock is aging, deteriorating and not the best place to be during an earthquake. The plan is to replace the timber trestle part of the dock, replace the main terminal building, reconfigure the dock layout, replace the vehicle transfer span and overhead loading structures on the northern slip, and replace vessel landing aids.
Advantages would be fewer conflicts between cars and pedestrians, better pedestrian connections to local transit service, and removal of tons of creosote-treated timber piles form Elliott Bay.
The tentative timetable is environmental process and preliminary design into 2013, design from 2013 to 2015 and construction from 2015 to 2020.

11 thoughts on “By 2020, there should be a new Colman Dock

  1. Talk about going back to the future. I fixed it. I meant 2020. I’ve been doing this kind of stupid stuff all day. Thanks for pointing it out.

  2. Soungs like a good idea. One thing I haven’t heard anyone talk about is the overhead walk way from the dock to 1st Ave. What happens to the walkway during and after viaduct removal and tunnel construction? I understand the overhead walkway was there before the viaduct. I have to say that’s a place I don’t really want to be during an earthquake….


  3. hmmm, lets try again. I asked yesterday afternoon how exactly they will improve the transit connections. I inquired if Metro would make changes to their schedule to better serve ferry riders. My comments were not worthy of posting it seems.

    So I checked myself. Here is what I found on the WSF project page.

    “Maintaining a connection to the Marion Street pedestrian overpass. ”

    and further down the page,
    “Improve existing pedestrian connections to local transit service”

    Are they maintaining or improving? I guess this is just as big a mystery as whether ferry growth projects are for “increase by 39 percent” or further down the page, “low ridership”.

    I think I need to get a pocket translator for all this doublespeak coming out of WSF.

  4. This is mainly about funding studies and the perpetual planning bureaucracy. There have been many plans developed to replace the Colman dock over the years, with plans and studies dating back to the 1970’s. The process is the reward for the government staffers who feed on this stuff. PSRC alone burns through about $50 million per year on studies, meetings, modeling, planning, etc., etc.

    No mystery to me why transportation and transit are such a basket case.

    Not so bold prediction: The state will continue fixing what is in urgent need of repair at the Colman dock. Nothing much else will happen.

  5. I’d prefer a shinny new bridge connecting to I-90 which would be the last intercontinental link for that roadway and a ramp for I-5 North & South. Cruising above the Argosy Coleman Dock.

  6. Oh, and the north exit from Colman still points to “Temp 90” (the old Dearborn relay to the I-90 bridge before the collector/distributor was built a LONG time ago!). Some updated signage at the north and south egresses would certainly help some of the few that ride the ferries just every so often.

    Also– re-training the angry ramp (terminal) personnel to be more of helpful customer-service employees would help A LOT! This includes the auto ticket booth and holding lane employees.

    Most of them at Colman and Eagle Harbor act like they deserve their jobs, but hate their jobs at the same time.

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