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Draft EIS issued on Mukilteo Ferry Terminal project

Washington State Ferries officials will host a public meeting in Clinton next month to discuss upgrades and renovations to the Mukilteo Ferry Terminal.

WSF has released its draft environmental impact statement, or EIS, on the project, and state officials are seeking public comment on the possible problems that building a new terminal — or continuing to use the current one built in 1952 — may pose.

Ferry officials note the Clinton-Mukilteo route is the state’s busiest route for vehicles, with the second-highest annual ridership. Four million riders used the route last year, and WSF says an improved terminal would make it easier for passengers to use nearby trains and buses, in addition to improving safety and operations for vehicles and walk-on passengers.

Officials say improvements are needed at the Mukilteo terminal to handle an increasing number of travelers who will be using the route. State officials predict the number of passengers on the route will grow 73 percent by the year 2030, from 1.8 million passengers to 3.1 million.

The environmental study looked at four alternatives: a status-quo, no-improvement option; replacing the existing Mukilteo Ferry Terminal with an expanded terminal; relocating the terminal to the eastern portion of the Mukilteo Tank Farm; and relocating the terminal to the western portion of the Mukilteo Tank Farm.

The Washington State Department of Transportation will collect comments on the draft EIS before the state picks its preferred alternative. A final EIS is expected in early 2013.

The public hearing on South Whidbey is scheduled for 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23 at Clinton Community Hall. Representatives from WSF, the Federal Transit Administration and other agencies will be on hand to answer questions. A court reporter will record the public hearing comments.

The 45-day comment period on the draft EIS runs from Jan. 27 through March 12. The draft EIS is available at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/ferries/mukilteoterminal/multimodal/ for review. Comments can also be submitted electronically or by mail.

 

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