New foot-ferry terminal about ready

As long as the power gets turned on as planned, the sleek new gangway recently built to easily transport both the able-bodied and those needing a little wheeled assistance will open Monday morning to passengers of the Port Orchard foot ferry.

“Everything is scheduled for 9 a.m., and we’re 95 percent sure at this point that it will open then,” said John Clauson, Kitsap Transit’s service development director, explaining that one or two issues were still unresolved.

Clauson said on Thursday one loose end still needing to be tied was the small matter of getting electricity hooked up to the float, and Kitsap Transit officials were waiting to see if Puget Sound Energy would be able to make that happen.

Wendy Clark-Getzin, the agency’s director of capital, said the passenger handrails also needed to be removed for some last-minute painting over the weekend, but she was as optimistic as Clauson that everything would be ready in time.

If everything does go on without a hitch, Clauson said the gangway should be open for the 9 a.m. arrival at the Port Orchard waterfront, and all three ferry boats plan to pull into the dock at the same time to commemorate the event.

He said a more elaborate grand opening for the terminal is being planned for June.

The opening Monday will be the culmination of several years of attempts by Kitsap Transit to replace the aged wooden structure known as the Horluck Dock, which funneled passengers riding the Horluck Transportation boats across Sinclair Inlet for decades.

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

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