First look: Work moving along on new Mukilteo ferry terminal

After 20 years of planning, preparation, and bureaucracy, work is finally plugging away on Mukilteo's new ferry terminal.

MUKILTEO, Wash. — After 20 years of planning, preparation and bureaucracy, work is finally plugging away on Mukilteo’s new ferry terminal.

“We don’t build a lot of new terminals, and this is one of the first we’ve built in a long time,” said David Sowers, of the Washington State Deptartment of Transportation.

It’s Mulkiteo’s first new ferry terminal since 1957.

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In those days, engineers say there was much less attention to pedestrian safety and many fewer cars going on the ferry.

“You have people cutting across traffic as it’s unloading, because they want to get to Ivars (restaurant) and they want to get to their car on the other side,” Sowers told KIRO 7.

When the new terminal opens this fall, WSDOT says there will be two lanes to board the ferry: one for walk-ons, the other for drivers.

In the process, far fewer people may be accidentally run over, all while boarding times are amped up.

“We sit here every single day and see the traffic jam,” commented Myra Baldwin, a bus driver from Whidbey Island.

WSDOT says passengers will also benefit by having an indoor sitting area.

No longer will they be soaked and saturated with rain as they wait to board.

“If it’s rainy and gross, it’ll be nice to have that upper load on thing for them,” said Penny Webb, a ferry traveler.

Engineers say traffic on the Mukilteo ferry is expected to surge 25% in the next two decades.

They insist the changes aim to keep passengers safe far into the future.

The entire terminal is expected to be finished in November.