Business groups make last-ditch appeal for Ludlow ferry during 2009 Hood Canal Bridge closure

The Port Angeles and Port Townsend chambers of commerce have united in a last-ditch effort to get ferry service between Port Ludlow and Kingston when the Hood Canal Bridge is out for six weeks in 2009.

“We believe this is our last best hope to persuade [the state Department of Transportation] to choose a mitigation plan that we believe will provide passenger-only ferry access between Kitsap and Jefferson/Clallam counties, as well as vehicle ferry access between Port Townsend and Edmonds,” Tim Caldwell, Port Townsend Chamber of Commerce general manager, wrote to chamber members.

The Department of Transportation and the Hood Canal Bridge project staff plan to launch a Web site link today to a survey to get public opinion on such a proposal.

Both Caldwell and Russ Veenema, Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce executive director, sent separate letters to state Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond this week.

Hammond, who spoke to a Port Angeles chamber luncheon audience Monday, told the Peninsula Daily News that afternoon that she’s open to suggestions for temporary ferry service while the new eastern half of the floating bridge is installed.

Right now, her transportation agency plans a passenger ferry in a sparsely populated area south of the bridge — from South Point in Jefferson County to Lofall in Kitsap County.

The proposed Port Ludlow embarkation point is about 5 miles north of the bridge.

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