— by Margie Doyle —
State Transportation/Ferries officials joined County executives and staff to celebrate the revamped Orcas ferry landing on Tuesday, July 11. Lots of changes have been made, and there are lots more to come. They also toured ongoing work on the future Park and Ride lot up the hill from the present ferry parking lot.
San Juan County Council Chair Rick Hughes said, “It’s a real honor to have the head of ferries and the majority of the County executive team out here as well as county staff. It’s a great partnership between state and county…and hopefully this will be the beginning of more multi-modal options for people to leave their cars here and catch transit on the other side.”
The work was done through cooperation between the county and the state ferry system. County conference rooms are still in the lower level of the “new” terminal building. The new head of Washington State Ferries (WSF) Amy Scarton said, “It’s a great opportunity when the state and the county partner together and we pool our funding, we pool our land, swap some properties and we’re all building projects together to create a real vision of the impact we can have on local communities.”
The new terminal replaces the old waiting room and ticketing structure and adds a pedestrian pick-up and drop-off area. It is located on the upper floor of the San Juan County building adjacent to the Orcas ferry dock. It is accessible at street level and includes a ticket counter, a self-serve ticketing kiosk, and improved ADA access to new restrooms.
A map showed future improvements and travelers at the Landing can already see the revised pick up and drop-off area where the waiting rooms were located formerly, the retaining wall extending west along the shoreline, the curbs and fencing protecting ferry-bound pedestrians from the traffic, as well as planned future improvements, including the Park and Ride lot installed above the current ferry loading lot.