Ferries - Bainbridge Ferry Terminal Overhead Loading Fixed Walkway Replacement

Project news

  • Join us on Wednesday, July 11, for open houses on the 4:45 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. sailings from Seattle; and inside the Bainbridge Island terminal from 5:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. 
  • This project will be advertised to contractors in fall 2018.
  • Construction is scheduled to begin in spring 2019 and end in summer 2020.

The ferry route between Seattle and Bainbridge Island is the busiest in the system for walk-on passengers. This project replaces the existing overhead wooden walkway with a wider, safer concrete and steel facility built to current seismic code.

Why is WSDOT replacing the overhead pedestrian walkway?
More than 3 million commuters, travelers and tourists use the Bainbridge ferry terminal overhead walkway every year. The existing 45-year-old walkway is supported by wooden piles that could collapse during a major earthquake. A reliable overhead walkway that could withstand a large seismic event makes it possible to continue loading vehicles on the car deck while pedestrians simultaneously load the ferry from the overhead passenger walkway.

The End Result
We will replace the existing wooden-supported walkway with a new steel-fortified walkway anchored by concrete and steel columns. The new walkway is designed to withstand a major earthquake. This project also will refresh outdated mechanical and electrical components that power the existing overhead loading bridge.

Needs & Benefits

Enhances safety and conserves energy

  • Designed to remain intact and operational following a significant seismic event.
  • Straightens and widens the walkway, making it easier for people with limited mobility to travel between the ferry and the terminal building.
  • The walkway will be enclosed with clear glass on both sides. The glass windows will not open, but there will be very small gaps around each glass for ventilation.
  • The section of walkway where passengers are likely to line up will have two benches to sit on and will be heated.  
  • Heating only one section of the walkway is more energy efficient and costs less to maintain.
  • This project improves safety by removing the existing exterior pedestrian ramp connecting to the overhead walkway. Pedestrians often cut across the vehicle holding area and Kitsap Transit bus turn-around area to get to and from the ramp. Removing the ramp eliminates confilct with vehicles and Kitsap Transit buses.


  • February 2018 - 30 percent design
  • June 2018 - 60 percent design
  • Late summer 2018 - 90 percent design
  • October 2018 - Advertise to contractors
  • Winter 2018 - Public pre-construction meeting
  • Summer 2019 - Begin construction
  • Summer 2020 - Open new overhead walkway
  • Winter 2020 - Demolish old overhead walkway
  • Spring 2021 - Complete project


Total budget: $19.3 million
Funding sources: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) grant and matching funds from the Washington State Legislature


Financial Data for PIN 903481A
Funding Source Amount ($ in thousands)
2003 Gas Tax (Nickel Funding) $0
2005 Gas Tax (TPA) $0
Pre-Existing Funds (PEF) $14,940
CWA $0
Total $14,940


Hadley Rodero
WSDOT Communications 
(206) 470-0524

Photo of the Bremerton terminal walkway

The new walkway will look similar to the Bremerton terminal walkway, pictured above.


A view of what it will look like inside the new walkway.


Rendering of the new walkway, looking northwest.

Photo of old wooden criss-cross beams that support the existing passenger walkway

The existing 45-year-old walkway is supported by wooden beams that could collapse during an earthquake.

Photo of today's walkway. Fully enclosed with frosted windows

Today's walkway is fully enclosed with frosted windows.