If you haven’t already, you should be making plans on how to get to the Winslow ferry without your car or bike for when it’s closed to those forms of transportation Sept. 7-13.
The ferry will be open to foot traffic only due to construction of the new $33 million pedestrian walkway. There also will only be one boat serving the community as the other will go to Kingston as commuters decide to take those routes instead. Fast ferries also are available in those two communities for a minimal cost. King County Water Taxi also is available.
Crews will be using cranes to lift walkway structures into place and affix them to concrete and steel pilings. The four huge structures will come by barge from Tacoma and take up the space usually used for vehicles waiting for the ferry on Bainbridge Island. The largest span is 199 feet long and weighs 45 tons. The existing walkway is over 50 years old and prior to COVID handled 3.2 million passengers a year.
The new walkway will be seismically safer, heated and open later this year. Closure beings around 1 p.m. Sept. 7 and end at 3 a.m. Sept. 13.
WSF has added a ferry to the Kingston-Edmonds run to help those who decide to take that route. There will still be the two regular boats on their schedules, with the third one helping as available. In South Kitsap, ferry riders are advised they also have the option of the Southworth route.
The Kitsap Transit Bike Barn with 79 indoor and 33 more outdoor spots can be used for storing bicycles. Cars can park on BI as room is available. On the other side of Puget Sound, WSF will provide a secure lock-up area for bikes.
If you live on BI or even live off-island, there are options to get to the ferry terminal without your bike or car.
Kitsap Transit offers eight on-island routed buses, so you can park nearby at any of the areas and commute. Locations include Manzanita, Agate Point, Battle Point, Sunrise, Crystal Springs, Fort Ward, Bill Point and Fletcher Bay. They all make connections to get you to the ferry. Cost is $2. Buses can be flagged down for a ride, except on Highway 305 where you must wait at a bus stop. Go to kitsaptransit.com/bus for details.
BI Ride is available for on-island only. It is an on-demand rideshare that takes you from one spot to the other for only $2. Book a trip from one to seven days in advance by calling 1-844-424-7433. Hours are limited. Go to kitsaptransit.com/BI-Ride for details.
Once in Seattle, King County Metro, Sound Transit and Seattle Electric Scooter and Bike Share are available.
KT also offers vanpool service to reduce the need for personal vehicles. Find others you might be able to join with at RideshareOnline.com A monthly fee pays for everything, including the van, gas, insurance and maintenance. Go to kitsaptransit.com/vanpool for details.
KT offers travel training to anyone wanting to take public transit. Call 360-824-4910 for details.
The project also will refresh outdated mechanical and electrical components that power the existing overhead loading bridge. Work will be from Sept. 7 at 1 a.m. to Sept. 13 at 3 a.m. Ferry service for vehicles will resume that day. There will be accommodations for emergency vehicles.
The one-boat service from BI to Seattle will leave Monday through Friday at 12:55, 4:45, 6:20, 7:55, 9:40, 11:30 a.m. and 1:15, 2:55, 4:45, 6:40, 8:2o, 10 and 11:30 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday times are: 1:25, 5:20, 7:05, 8:45 and 10:25 a.m. and 12:20, 2:10, 3:55, 5:35, 7:15, 8:55 and 10:30 p.m., along with midnight.