Colman Dock construction prompts changes for ferry commuters

SEATTLE -- If you take the ferry from the Colman Dock in Seattle, expect big changes starting Wednesday (Sept. 26).

The biggest change people will see is where to park to wait for the ferry, also known as holding areas.

Starting Wednesday, the holding areas will swap: People heading to Bainbridge Island will now wait south of the terminal building, while Bremerton passengers will wait north of the terminal building.

Space is becoming limited as crews work to finish Colman Dock renovations, which have been happening since August of last year.

Ferry officials say this will maximize the space that's left.

Commuters will see plenty of signage marking the changes, and there will be additional staff to point people in the right direction.

The concern is that people are used to going a certain direction, and if they're not careful, they can end up on the wrong boat.

"We haven't changed the vehicle holding locations since the last time this dock was under construction, and that was in the late '80s and early '90s, so it's been decades since drivers have done things differently over here,"  said Broch Bender with Washington State Ferries.

All overflow parking for the holding area will be at Pier 48, a few blocks south.

Roughly 9 million people use the Washington State ferries every year, officials estimate.