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Ferry slip goes into partial service

"Weekend, early morning, and evening ferry users are enjoying faster trips between Clinton and Mukilteo, but it will be a while before all commuters enjoy the same experience.Until construction workers finish the last change order and put the final piece of glass into a covered walkway running the length of the new Clinton ferry dock, only some of South Whidbey's commuters will be able to experience using the dock's new south slip.The only time anyone gets that experience now is on the weekends and during the early morning and evening commuting hours. As work continues on the new dock during weekdays, the slip remains closed Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.Ferry dock agent John Roper said last week that ferries will continue to load and unload at the dock's old north slip until construction work is finished. Dockings at the new slip are not on a formal schedule at present, but Washington State Ferries personnel have been using the slip recently during busy traffic weekends and morning and evening rush hours to keep the ferries Kittitas and Cathlamet on schedule.Roper said the new slip allows cars to move on and off ferry boats faster than at the north slip. North slip runs have averaged five minutes slower than runs out of the old south slip due to the extra maneuvering necessary to dock.Regular service at the south slip may not start until the end of the summer. Kurt Grant, construction supervisor for MKB Constructors, said his company's work at the ferry dock will continue as long as Washington State Ferries continue to submit change orders to his company. Construction crews are currently working to finish the dock's pedestrian walkway and put the finishing touches on the south slip."

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