Colman Dock construction ramping up for the summer

SEATTLE -- If you plan to take the ferry from Seattle to either Bremerton or Bainbridge Island, be prepared for more construction at Colman Dock. The changes are expected to ramp up in a couple of weeks and into the summer.

According to officials, the construction will affect both passengers who walk onto the ferry as well as drivers.

"We are replacing the dock and the building, and making a brand new facility that will be much better equipped during an earthquake,” said Broch Bender, Washington State Ferries spokesperson.

Earlier this month, crews merged the waiting areas for Bainbridge and Bremerton passengers, which Bender said is going to last until mid-2019. Other noticeable changes include the location of the ticket window, which is now toward the front of the building instead of the back.

“What this allows for is the most possible space in the already smaller terminal building,” said Bender.

Officials said you will see an impact at Colman Dock during the afternoon commute or large sporting events.

“It’s a really good idea to arrive at the terminal no more than 15 minutes before your sailing, that way you won`t get caught up in the big crowds,” said Bender.

Bender also recommends going online to buy and print tickets ahead of time. In anticipation of the crowds, crews have installed more gates to get people through.

“We have 10 turnstyles, plus two ADA paddle gates and one manual gate. That's two more turnstyles than we had recently in the new combined area,” said Bender.

But for the drivers, later in the summer is when you'll see changes, too. Right now, drivers enter in from the entrance off Madison and Alaskan Way.

“This summer, we are changing the vehicle-only entrance. We're moving it six blocks south to South Jackson Street,” said Bender.

Officials said pack your patience this summer but once all is said and done, it'll be worth it.

“We’re going to have improved bicycle facilities, walking facilities, as well as improved transit connectivity,” said Bender.

For those that take ride shares or for passengers being dropped off, officials said they will keep the same entrance open off Madison Street and Alaskan Way open.

Overall construction for Colman Dock is expected to last until 2023.