PO foot-ferry terminal work meets deadline

It was down to the wire, but crews preparing the site of the new Port Orchard foot ferry dock were able to get the necessary work completed before the fish window deadline, said Kitsap Transit Service Development Director John Clauson.

“They drove the last pile in at about 6 30 p.m. on Monday, which was the last day you could do that sort of work (until June),” Clauson said, explaining that the contractors, Hurlen Construction, worked through the weekend after receiving last-minute approval on work changes Friday night.

“We were very fortunate,” he said.

With the time-critical pile extraction and anchoring complete, Clauson said crews can now move on to the next phase in preparing the newly built terminal for passengers, which includes building the gangway and connecting it to the float, along with putting in utilities and other “upland improvements.”

Currently, foot-ferry passengers are using the guest moorage at the Port Orchard Marina to get on and off the Kitsap Ferry Company boats crossing Sinclair Inlet.

But by May, they will be enjoying what the agency’s director of capital, Wendy 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.

Clark-Getzin said the entire project is not scheduled to be done until next month, but the last few weeks of work will be outside of the water, and therefore not subject to the mandated work stoppage.

The terminal is expected to open to the public by the end of April.

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