Port Ludlow ferry advocate makes case before Chamber of Commerce

PORT LUDLOW — On the eve of a decision about a route for a ferry during the May-June 2009 closure of the Hood Canal Bridge, Tim Caldwell, Port Townsend Chamber of Commerce general manager, told the Port Ludlow Chamber of Commerce what he hopes the decision will be.

Caldwell wants to see passenger ferry service between Port Ludlow and Kingston while the eastern half of the bridge is replaced.

“We have been pushing for this for 10 years,” Caldwell told the 30 people at Wednesday’s luncheon at Harbormaster Restaurant, which overlooks the marina from where the passenger ferry would be launched.

“You don’t have to pay for a passenger ferry terminal. You don’t have to pay for parking. You don’t have to pay for shuttle service.”

State Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond is expected to make a decision on Friday on the passenger ferry route to be used – either South Point to Lofall or Port Ludlow to Kingston.

A survey — asking for residents’ preferences of the two choices — closed last Friday.

Nearly 4,000 took the survey, said Becky Hixson, Hood Canal Bridge project business manager.

Hixson said Wednesday that her staff was working through the results, and hopes to release them Friday.

Caldwell said that Transportation’s water shuttle survey was “not exactly the fair and balanced survey we’d like to see.”

He, however, expressed gratitude to Hammond for allowing the survey to be conducted.

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