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City’s new foot-ferry terminal still in Tacoma

Although the new Port Orchard foot ferry terminal will be towed into Sinclair Inlet a week late next Wednesday, Kitsap Transit officials built enough wiggle room into the schedule that the tardy arrival won’t keep the project from making its crucial deadline — the fish window.

Wendy Clark-Getzin, the agency’s director of capital, said the new terminal being constructed at the Port of Tacoma was originally scheduled to be tugged up last Monday and arrive in Port Orchard two days later on March 3.

Clark-Getzin said the terminal’s arrival was delayed a week because the company installing it decided it didn’t need as much time as was allotted to put it in, therefore allowing the construction company to spend more time actually building it.

To celebrate the “big day” the terminal actually leaves — now scheduled for Monday — she said Port Orchard City Councilman (and Kitsap Transit official) John Clauson and Mayor Kim Abel and will join Kitsap Transit officials in Tacoma to watch the float launch.

“That will be a big day,” Clark-Getzin said, noting that most of the other work affected by the March 15 fish window, including much of the pile driving and removal, is completed.

“It is pretty quiet down there now, but it will pick up again Monday,” she said, explaining that crews will be revamping the sidewalk, along with making extra sure the terminal’s future site is ready.

“If we can’t get it in by March 15, we’re in trouble, because we can’t step back in until July 15,” Clark-Getzin said.

The entire project is not scheduled to be done until next month, but the last of couple weeks of work will be outside of the water, and therefore not subject to the mandated work stoppage.

Currently, foot-ferry passengers are using the guest moorage at the Port Orchard Marina to get on and off the boats, but by May will be enjoying what Clark-Getzin called a “quite beautiful” and quite functional new terminal with steel supports, molded concrete walking surfaces, and a shorter dock with a longer gangplank that is easier to reach by wheelchair.

Kitsap Transit first started planning an upgrade of the foot ferry terminal in 1997, but the reduction in transportation funds after Initiative 695 passed sunk the organization’s plans and forced it to cancel its design contract with Parametrix, a local consulting firm.

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