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Highway backed up as ferry goes off line

Traffic was backed up for three hours at the Clinton Ferry Terminal Thursday afternoon due to a mechanical problem on the ferry Cathlamet. The Washington State ferry is one of two boats — the other is the Kittitas — on the Clinton-Mukilteo route.

The line of cars stretched several miles from the Clinton terminal up Highway 525, nearly to Ken's Korner.

"The ferry was taken out of service from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. because of a problem with the steering system, and we missed three round trips," said ferry spokeswoman Susan Harris-Huether.

A repair crew was called to the scene from the ferry system's repair facilities at Eagle Harbor on Bainbridge Island, Harris-Huether added.

"Mechanics from Eagle Harbor came up and quickly solved the problem," she said.

Washington State Ferries sent out an e-mail advisory Thursday morning to notify travelers of the disruption on the Clinton-Mukilteo run.

Harris-Huether also warned travelers that, with schools out, this is the real start of the summer season for the Washington State Ferry system.

"Especially over holidays and Thursday and Friday nights, riders need to be patient," she said.

For updates on ferry happenings, visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries.

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