Ferries - Bainbridge Ferry Terminal Overhead Loading Fixed Walkway Replacement

Project news

  • This project will be advertised to contractors in fall 2018.
  • Construction is scheduled to begin in winter 2019 and end in spring 2020.


The ferry route between Seattle and Bainbridge Island is the busiest in the system for walk-on passengers. This project replaces the existing enclosed overhead walkway with a wider, safer open-air 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 beams 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 This project also will refresh outdated mechanical and electrical components that power the existing overhead loading bridge.

Project 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 one or both sides. The glass windows will not open, however there will be a one-inch ventilation gap along the top.
  • The section of walkway closest to where pedestrians load onto the ferry will have a bench 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.

What is the project timeline?

  • Fall 2017 - 30 percent design
  • Winter 2017 - 60 percent design
  • Winter/spring 2018 - 90 percent design
  • Fall 2018 - Advertise to contractors
  • Winter 2019 - Begin construction
  • Fall 2019 - Open new overhead walkway
  • Spring 2020 - Complete project


Financial Information
Total budget: $15 million
Funding sources: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) grant and matching funds from the Washington State Legislature

Financial Information

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


How can I get more information?

Broch Bender
WSDOT Communications 
(206) 515-3913

View a larger project map.
  Photo of the Bremerton terminal walkway
The new walkway will look similar to the Bremerton terminal walkway, pictured above.

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.