Local Information

Holiday travel: Colman Dock construction, large crowds on all ferry routes

Friday, June 29, 2018 - 08:00

Broch Bender, communications, 206-305-5516

1 million ferry riders expected over Fourth of July holiday week

SEATTLE – The next few weeks, including the Independence Day holiday, will be busy for Washington State Ferries and travelers are encouraged to plan ahead if sailing from Friday, June 29 to Monday, July 9.

In addition to nearly 1 million ferry riders expected on all routes around Independence Day, the system’s largest terminal remains under construction and will have access changes starting Sunday, July 1. This will add congestion to Seattle’s busy waterfront, so travelers should allow some extra travel time if sailing out of Colman Dock.

Drive-on entrance at Colman Dock moves to South Jackson Street on July 1
Keeping Seattle’s Colman Dock open during construction without cancelling sailings will require some adjustment for customers. The entrance for all vehicles, including vanpools and motorcycles, will move to a neighboring pier, south of the toll plaza, at South Jackson Street starting Sunday, July 1.

People driving onto a ferry will enter at South Jackson Street from northbound or southbound Alaskan Way South., drive north in a dedicated toll plaza access lane, and buy tickets at the existing toll plaza. There are no access changes for pedestrians, travelers riding bicycles will continue to use the Yesler Way bicycle entrance next to the toll plaza.

In addition, the passenger terminal is smaller while critical work continues to replace the seismically vulnerable flagship terminal. The load zones in front of the terminal will remain the same and there will be additional on-street parking between Yesler Way and Madison Street through the busy summer months. View pro tips to prepare for (and avoid) long waits inside the passenger terminal and at the drive-on entrance during the holiday and throughout the summer. 

What to know before hopping on a ferry the week of July 4
WSF expects crowds and lines throughout the Independence Day week, especially on both weekends and the day before and after the holiday. It is against the law to set off or carry fireworks on the ferry.

Extra sailings
The following sailings are being added to accommodate increased traffic:

  • Friday, June 29
    • 8:50 p.m. Anacortes to Orcas Island and Friday Harbor
  • Monday, July 2
    • 8:50 p.m. Anacortes to Orcas Island and Friday Harbor
  • Tuesday, July 3
    • 6:45 p.m. Anacortes to Lopez Island
    • 7:35p.m. Lopez Island to Anacortes
    • 9 p.m., 10 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. Clinton to Mukilteo
    • 9:30 p.m., 10:30 p.m. and 2 a.m. Mukilteo to Clinton
  • Wednesday, July 4
    • 9 p.m. Clinton to Mukilteo
    • 9:30 p.m. Mukilteo to Clinton
    • 11:25 p.m. Vashon to Fauntleroy
  • Thursday, July 5
    • 10:10 p.m. Friday Harbor to Anacortes
    • 10:30 p.m. Orcas Island to Anacortes

To reduce or eliminate wait times, customers should consider walking on the ferry. Passenger capacity is far greater than vehicle capacity on all WSF ferries.

Travel tips

Drivers should also plan ahead for increased congestion on highways as they make their way to the ferry terminals, including using with real-time traffic information available on the WSDOT traffic app for their mobile device.

Washington State Ferries, a division of the Washington State Department of Transportation, is the largest ferry system in the U.S. and safely and efficiently carries nearly 25 million people a year through some of the most majestic scenery in the world. For breaking news and the latest information, follow WSF on Twitter.

Get Our Mobile App

  • Our Android and iPhone apps include statewide traffic cameras, travel alerts, mountain pass reports, ferry schedules and alerts, northbound Canadian border wait times and more.