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Ferries - Terminal maintenance contracting 2019-2021 Biennium

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

Diagram of ferry terminal components

Diagram of terminal components ( enlarge )

Status - Summer 2020

Recently completed construction

  • Anacortes counterweight cable change out, landing aid and bird exclusions repairs
  • Edmonds trestle pavement repair
  • Edmonds opening of second lane to toll plaza full time
  • Mukilteo floating chain adjustment

Ongoing construction activity

  • Bainbridge solar panel installation roof of terminal building
  • Bremerton bridge hinge replacement (after Coupeville)
  • Coupeville bridge hinge replacement
  • Eagle Harbor heat system replacement
  • Point Defiance-Tahlequah bridge painting
  • Vashon Slip 2 apron lip replacement
  • WSF Terminal Energy Initiative: Exterior lighting phase for energy savings at all terminals

Upcoming projects

  • Bainbridge parking lot paving (fall 2020)
  • Clinton bridge painting (late July start)
  • Coupeville light pole replacement (pole on order)
  • Edmonds Dayton Avenue signal improvements
  • Point Defiance and Tahlequah dolphin repairs (summer 2020)
  • Seattle wingwall repairs (summer 2020)
  • Vashon dolphin repairs (summer 2020)
  • Vashon passenger only span repairs (summer 2020)
  • Passenger turnstile replacements at Mukilteo, Port Townsend


WSF's terminal engineering maintenance group contracts out approximately $2 million in construction projects annually. These contracts address short-term maintenance issues identified through inspections of the facilities, prior to larger replacement projects.

Why is WSDOT Ferries Division (WSF) doing this work?
The goal of these terminal maintenance contracts is to maintain our terminals so that we can prevent disruption to ferry service. These contracts can be broken down into the following categories of work (see diagrams at top right for visuals of terminal structures and components):

  • Landing aids: This work involves repairing and replacing fenders, chains, rub faces and piling. All of these items are part of the wingwalls and dolphins against which the vessels land.
  • Vehicle transfer spans: This work involves repairing all of the transfer span components, which consist of aprons, towers, bridge seats, and mechanical and electrical systems. This work does not include paving or painting the spans.
  • Overhead loading: This work involves repairing the overhead loading structures, which consist of fixed walkways, foundations, electrical and mechanical systems, the elevator cabs and the overhead loading transfer span. This work does not include painting and other items which are included in facility work.
  • Painting: Painting all steel around the terminals, including piling, transfer spans, overhead loading and landing aids.
  • Trestle and bulkheads: This work includes repairs to the trestles, which consist of piling, caps, stringers, cross bracing, decking and concrete. This also includes work on the bulkheads and the rip-rap that protects the bulkheads.
  • Facilities: This involves work all around the facilities and includes utilities, building systems, painting (other than structural steel), and septic systems.
  • Pavement: This work involves grading, paving, asphalt sealing and overlays on the bridge decks.
  • Vendor work: All of this work is done by purchase requisitions and agreements, and involves preventative maintenance items (typically less than $10,000 each). The major types of work that may be done by vendors include bird deterrent systems; cleaning; maintenance on the compactors and elevators; fender purchases; fire systems; heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; inspection permits; landscaping; equipment rentals; towing; signing; and striping.

The end result
Our terminals must be in good working order so that we can meet each scheduled sailing and not impose load (weight) restrictions. This is reported as part of WSF's performance measures. Eight of WSF's terminals have more than one slip, which minimizes service disruptions when work is occurring on other slips. However, WSF typically ties up vessels in these slips each night. To prevent the cost of moving vessels each day, these slips need to be operational as much as possible.

The goal of the terminal maintenance team is to prevent lost trips due to terminal issues such as these whenever possible.

Project benefits
This work will maintain our ferry terminals at a standard where we can maintain safe and consistent ferry service to our customers.

What is the project timeline?
Various projects are conducted throughout the year based on terminal availability, weather, and permit restrictions.

WSF has developed an on-call contract for off-shore repairs that require a floating derrick barge. WSF solicits bids for this on-call contract every two years. Once awarded to a contractor, the work is completed on an as-needed basis. This saves a significant amount of time and money by not having to develop separate contracts for each minor item of work.

WSF also solicits bids for an on-call contract for painting work.

Other contract work is designed and bid out for private contractors.

Financial information

  • Budget: $2 million-$2.5 million per fiscal year
  • Funding source: terminal engineering maintenance operating funds

How can I get more information?

Tom Castor
WSF Marine Project Engineer

Customer Service