Want some good news as this tough year comes to an end? The new Mukilteo ferry terminal is set to open on December 29th with the first scheduled ferry departing at 610 PM.

The Mukilteo-Clinton ferry run is the second busiest in the ferry system. More than 4 million people used this ferry route in 2019.

The current ferry terminal was put into service in 1952, reconstructed next to the original terminal in place since ferry service began in 1911 with cars joining the ferry run in 1919. The current ferry dock was updated in the 1980s, but remained quite small. The time had come for a replacement.

Mukilteo residents and businesses will be quite pleased when the new terminal goes into service. The new site is about a third of a mile to the east, opening up room for more waiting area parking and moving the fare booths further east. On busy days, the usual backed up traffic on lower SR 525 through downtown Mukilteo and up the hill should be less common.

Before the new terminal can be put into service, the Mukilteo-Clinton ferry run will need to be suspended for less than 24 hours so navigation guides can be removed from the old terminal and installed at the new site. These navigation guides are known at dolphins, those tall tied pilings in the water just shy of shore.

The ferry service suspension will start following the last sailing on December 28th, permitting divers and tug boat operators to move the dolphins. In addition during the suspension, the ferry captains will use the time for training on the new landing process. During the service suspension, those who use the ferry run will need to use SR 20 through Deception Pass or make other plans. The suspension was timed during the holidays when fewer people use the route.

The new ferry terminal will have many key features. The 700-foot long holding lanes will have a bit more capacity and modern fare booths. The holding area and terminal building will have permanent restrooms, a first for this site. Overhead boarding will replace current walk-ons having to share the loading ramp with vehicles. The building will be in the form of a Coast Salish longhouse, filled with Coast Salish cultural motifs and carvings from Tulalip Tribe artists. Follow this link to see the new terminal photos. https://www.flickr.com/photos/wsdot/albums/72157627124939979

Unfortunately, the new terminal will be further away from waterfront businesses. A food cart is being considered in the holding area to offer an alternative.

In 2021, the old terminal will be demolished and a new SR 525 extension road will be built to the new toll booths.

As we wrap up 2020, the new Mukilteo ferry terminal is scheduled to enter service on December 29th with the first scheduled ferry departing at 610 PM. The opening is something to celebrate as we enter the New Year!

North Sound Meteorologist Ted Buehner worked more than 40 years for the National Weather Service (NWS) from 1977 to 2018. He is now an Everett Post Media team member. Together with Everett Post Weather Minute Podcasts, he provides morning and afternoon commute traffic and weather updates on both KRKO and KXA Radio, and sports reporting on KRKO.