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Final phase of upgrades at Orcas Landing underway

Construction of a public access upgrade for the Orcas Island Ferry Terminal started this week and will last approximately three months. Thanks to a partnership between San Juan County (SJC) and the Washington State Ferries (WSF) , the project will provide improved ADA parking and access to the Orcas Ferry Terminal.  

2018 photo of retaining wall done in first phase.

Construction will not interfere with ferry operations. Orcas Road will remain open throughout the duration of construction, and work will pause to accommodate ferry arrivals and departures. Towards the end of the project, crews will pave a section of one lane of Orcas Road, for approximately one day. Paving will not happen on holidays or holiday weekends. During this time, flaggers will be onsite to direct traffic as necessary.

Project highlights:

New angled parking spaces: four ADA-compliant, two general-use

New curbs, gutters, and sidewalks around the parking lot area

New stormwater infrastructure

A new retaining wall that compliments the site’s existing elements with a familiar façade

Stay Informed:

Project updates will be provided regularly on the WSDOT website under Travel Alert Bulletins. The public is encouraged to sign up for rider alerts to receive direct notice of project news.

Project History:

This project is Phase II of Orcas Island Ferry Terminal upgrades. Phase I began in 2016 when WSF, with the support of San Juan County, installed ADA accessible ramps accompanied by a new retaining wall with walkways to and from the terminal, and a pedestrian pick up and drop off area. The first phase also remodeled the existing waiting room and ticketing structure with a better facility located on the upper floor of a county building.

Photo of waiting room taken in 2018

In 2018 San Juan County continued the work WSF initiated and extended the new retaining wall, converted an existing industrial structure to a scenic viewing area, constructed a ramp with accesses to the lower portion of the Orcas Landing parcel, and relocated utility appurtenances which was essential to make way for Phase II of construction. Phase II went out for bid in mid-November of 2022 and the contract was awarded in January of 2023.

“Having been involved with Orcas Landing’s facility upgrades since the onset of construction in 2016, it’s a thrill to see how all the improvements have transformed the site,” said project manager Stephanie Conner. “Each stage of construction reclaims valuable space that is dedicated to improving the public’s connection to our state’s shoreline.”

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