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SR 160 - Vashon Terminal - Timber Trestle and Terminal Replacement

Vashon Ferry Terminal
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The topside of the trestle reopened to traffic on July 1, 2016. 

Looking south on retrofitted trestle. New striping and pavement is complete.

typical ferry terminal structure schematic
Typical ferry terminal structures (enlarge)

Vashon Ferry Terminal before construction.

Trestle timbers at Vashon prior to construction.


September 2016

  • This project is now complete
  • New traffic pattern on dock improves safety: We added a bus bypass lane and Improved ADA and emergency vehicle access. View a fact sheet and map of changes.(PDF 805kb)
  • Southworth and Fauntleroy vehicle traffic: directed to wait for the ferry on the trestle in designated lanes.   
  • Fauntleroy overflow traffic: When the dock is full, overflow traffic continues to queue up the hill on Vashon Highway.  


Vashon trestle is now better protected against a major earthquake
Washington State Ferries upgraded the 50-year-old Vashon trestle to meet current seismic standards. We installed seismic braces at 10 critical locations along the dock and replaced 200 feet of timber trestle with concrete supported by steel piling. In the event of an earthquake, the main transportation corridor for Vashon Island residents will be better protected.

Is construction finished?
All topside work on the Vashon trestle seismic retrofit project is now complete. 

Crews will work from a barge through August to finish remaining under-dock work.

Are there changes to the traffic pattern on the dock?  Yes, we modified the traffic pattern and vehicle waiting lanes on the dock. These modifications remove conflict with cars and working ferry slips, making it safer from school children, pedestrians and people with limited mobility to travel to and from the ferry. 

What's changed since construction? 

  • Improved safety for children and transit riders: Pedestrian traffic including school children and transit riders will now be separated from the bus turning area and vehicle traffic.
  • Improved efficiency and dedicated bus loading area: Up to five buses can now load simultaneously without getting in the way of vehicles entering or exiting the ferry. Under the new configuration, there also will be room from buses to make a smooth continuous turn and quickly move to the dedicated loading area.
  • More space for emergency vehicle and medical preference staging: Increased waiting area for emergency vehicles located at the end of the dock.
  • Trestle capacity reduced by 12 vehicles: Adding a dedicated bypass lane for transit and school buses reduces capacity by approximately 12 car lengths on the trestle.

What's the same as before construction?

  • Southworth- and Fauntleroy-bound vehicles wait on the dock.
  • Fauntleroy overflow traffic waits on Vashon Highway
  • The traffic patterns approaching the dock are the same as before construction

Why is WSDOT replacing these structures?
The Vashon ferry terminal provides a critical link between Vashon Island, the Seattle mainland and the communities west of Puget Sound. The existing Vashon ferry dock was constructed in 1957 and is vulnerable to earthquakes.  

The project will bring the entire dock up to current seismic code and allow access to and from the island in the event of an earthquake.

The End Result
This project will retrofit the existing ferry dock by placing seismic braces at 10 critical locations along the dock and replacing about 200 feet of timber trestle with concrete supported by steel piling.

In the event of an earthquake, the main transportation corridor for Vashon Island residents will be better protected. 

Project Benefits

  • Improve Reliability: In the event of an earthquake, both terminals on Vashon Island are at risk. It’s critical that the island’s main terminal be upgraded immediately.
  • Improve Safety: The project brings the dock up to seismic, mechanical and electrical codes.

What is the project timeline?

  • March 2015: Host two public meetings.
  • April 2015: Advertise project
  • Summer 2015: Begin construction
  • July 1: Complete topside construction, reopen trestle to vehicle traffic
  • August 2016: Complete all construction

Financial Information

The total project cost is $15 million. Funding is provided through a mix of federal grants and state funding.

How can I get more information?
Broch Bender
WSF Communications 

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