Since Kitsap Fast Ferries are sharing the space, Kitsap Transit’s board chair, Bainbridge Island Mayor Kol Medina, shared the podium with King County Executive Dow Constantine at a media briefing this morning.
Constantine, a longtime Water Taxi champion, said he was “amazed” by how well the project turned out, “way better” than he had imagined. Here are some of the highlights:
We asked King County Marine Division director Paul Brodeur for his favorite features. Above, the Douglas-fir ceiling – “sustainably harvested,” he noted – as well as the many accessibility improvements, including a tactile path from Alaskan Way to the facility entrance:
Here’s the spot where a person following that path will turn to go into the facility:
Brodeur also expressed appreciation for the “1 Percent for Art” feature inside. It’s subtle, and we wouldn’t have noticed if he hadn’t pointed it out:
The posts – meant to emulate pilings with tide lines – are by artist Leo Berk; his many other public-art sites include Highland Park Spraypark. Also part of the new facility, digital signage and 9 ticket machines:
One feature that’s not ready to go yet – new connections to the main terminal – the connections should be complete within a month or so. (Important because, as one question toward the briefing’s end revealed, there’s no restroom in the new facility.) Wondering about the cost? From the news release:
The total cost of the project is $45 million, which includes the new building and the new float for boats to dock. Approximately 80 percent of the funding came from a grant from the Federal Transit Administration.
If you travel through the new facility today, you might still have a chance at opening-day swag, including little foam boats and decorated cookies:
So now that the downtown dock is upgraded, what about West Seattle, which is still using the Seacrest fishing pier after 20+ years? Constantine had nothing concrete to announce but replied that the new Pier 50 will “show the way” and that it’s proof that the region’s commitment to passenger ferries – not always a sure bet – “is past the point of no return.”
We’ll add briefing video later.