At The Bottom Of The 2018 Skagit County Bridge Report

Skagit County Public Works recently released the 2018 Bridge Report. Once again the Guemes Ferry Docks (both sides) are the lowest rated structures in the County. Both have a rating of 23.03 out of 100. The next lowest rated structure is the Upper Finney Creek Bridge at 48.27.

Remember our discussion last year about why the County has done nothing to address the 'Priorty 1' faults in six years?  Where Mr. Randall-Grutter explained that Skagit County has allowed both ferry docks to deteriorate due to "insufficient funds"? We asked again:

LineTime: This year’s report on the Guemes Island and Anacortes ferry docks looks nearly identical to last year’s and the years' before. Nothing seems to have been done to address those issues last year due to "insufficient funds”. Does Public Works have any plans or intention of fixing at least the Priority 1 issues this year?

Yes, you are correct that the interim 2017 Bridge Report inspection of the Anacortes and Guemes Island Ferry Docks/Terminals are basically the same from 2016 bridge inspection. The reason for this is because the bridge/docks are on a routine inspection interval of 24 months. Therefore, not too much will change in the inspection, as typically the repairs or changes will be noted or documented during the next routine inspection that will take place in October of 2018.

That being said, we  perform an alternate interim inspection (24 month cycle) on the three deteriorating girders from the routine inspection. This basically means that the docks will receive their mandated 24 month routine inspection (2016, 2018, 2020) as required by Federal Law, and the three girders on the Anacortes side that we want to keep an eye on will receive an additional inspection during the off year (2017, 2019, 2021) or basically, will be inspected annually.

As for the “Priority One” Repairs.  We have received federal funding through the Federal “Ferry Boat Program” and are in the planning phase to address these issues.  They include but are not limited to the replacement of the three girders on the Anacortes side, replacement or repair of the gusset for the apron lift beam on the Guemes side, replacement of the counterweight cables and hoist, and numerous other needed repairs.  We are in the process of defining the project and scope of work.  We will then go through the hiring process for design work on the girders and other repairs to be addressed.  Once that is completed we will go out to bid for the repair and replacement work.  The County’s intentions are to start repairing or addressing these issues starting in 2018 and finishing up in 2019. 

To ensure that the terminals/docks or spans are safe, the County had a new load rating completed on both the Anacortes side and Guemes side in January of 2018.  The load ratings show that the both sides are more than capable of handling legal vehicle loads.

For instance, a design load for a type 3 truck is 25 Tons.  Both the Anacortes and Guemes terminal spans are capable of handling 38 Tons. There are different design loads and weights that are looked at, but in short, if the vehicle is legal to drive on a road or state highway, the ferry terminal spans on both sides will be able to handle them.  Now if it is an overweight load, than they are required to obtain a permit from the County, at which point we would analyze the load and axle weights to determine if the vehicle is safe to travel over our infrastructure.  


- Forrest Jones / Skagit County Public Works



Last year: Ferry Docks Condition Worse Than Any Other Bridge In County

Tags: ferry