Mukilteo/Clinton Ferry Terminal Construction Underway: $167 million Allocated to Improve Safety

The Mukilteo/Clinton Ferry service, one of the busiest ferry routes in the state, is getting a new terminal. The ferry service has been around for decades and, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), serves more than 4.2 million riders every year.

The new construction, called the Mukilteo Multimodal Terminal Project, is scheduled to open Fall of 2020. It will be replacing the existing one and is located one-third of a mile from the current location.

Rendering courtesy of Washington State Ferries Communication

The WSDOT said there has not been a major improvement on the terminal since the 1980s and there have been some safety concerns since then, such as lack of seismic standards, enough parking spaces, and proper accessibility for pedestrians. The current layout they said, plays a part in traffic congestion and conflicts between a walk-on and drive-on traffic. 

Some of these needs and concerns will be addressed with the building of the new terminal as the project includes improving safety and accessibility for pedestrians, vehicles and bicycles, efficiency and reliability of ferry operations and to reduce the ferry-related congestion along Mukilteo’s central waterfront among other things.

Rendering courtesy of Washington State Ferries Communication

“At the end of the day, what truly matters is I safely leave my home, arrive at the terminal and I safely leave here and get home safely,” said Michael Wells, who commutes daily from his home in Clinton to his job in Bellevue as a developer. Wells commended the WSDOT for addressing some needs. “I’m in development, which generally addresses a need. Sometimes, the need is simply a newer and better product, so, I am open to a newer and better product,” Wells said.

This is really well planned, it will create a lot less wasted gas and pollution.”

— Frederick Gilbert

For Frederick Gilbert, an instructional technician for photography and journalism at EvCC, the project is going to make things better. Gilbert, who has been riding the ferry for 14 years, said, “This is really well planned, it will create a lot less wasted gas and pollution and people idling in line all the way up the hill for better than an hour at a time.”

Construction of the new terminal is going on now and will meet the current seismic standards. The location is on the old Tank farm, an abandoned U.S. Air Force fueling station and according to WSDOT, the new terminal is designed with solar panels, natural ventilation, rain water harvest and other green elements. It will also be constructed to LEED Silver standard.

Rendering courtesy of Washington State Ferries Communication

The project for which $167 million has been allocated, will include passenger and maintenance buildings, passenger overhead loading, a toll plaza with four toll booths and seven vehicle lanes, among other things. The new ferry terminal itself is going to be bigger than the existing one and would be more accommodating.

Photo courtesy of Washington State Ferries Communication
Construction of the new Mukilteo/Clinton ferry terminal is underway and expected to be completed by the fall of 2020. The current terminal can be seen in the background, one-third of a mile away.

“It is a good investment and it’s for the better, it will all work out in the end,” said Marina Alber, a major in Arts and Science at EvCC and commuter of the ferry from Langley on Whidbey Island. Alber expects that the improvements will provide more accessibility for the people around the area with all the restaurants and the beach and not have to worry about being in the way.

Stacie S. McCartan
The WSDOT is holding an open house/public meeting regarding the the new terminal project on Thursday, May 23, at the Rosehill Community Center in Mukilteo from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“It will be a lot better than what we have now. We need it bigger; the dock gets busier with people going to Whidbey Island,” said Mark Scrader, a WSDOT employee who has been working at the Mukilteo dock for 20 years. “It’s a good step as far as safety for everyone and just getting things moving smoother and faster,” Scrader said.

For more information on the new terminal project, the WSDOT is holding an open house/public meeting on Thursday, May 23, at the Rosehill Community Center in Mukilteo from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The meeting is geared toward sharing information about the ongoing work at the site and its expectations for summer.

So far, the construction has not impacted the Mukilteo/Clinton ferry services and they will continue to remain open during construction.