A rendering from the Golden Gate ferry district shows the proposed gangways that are expected to improve overcrowding and boarding times. (Courtesy photo)

A rendering from the Golden Gate ferry district shows the proposed gangways that are expected to improve overcrowding and boarding times. (Courtesy photo)

Rough waters ahead: Repair work for dilapidated ferry ramps face delays, cost increase

A San Francisco ferry terminal used by Golden Gate Ferry passengers is dilapidated and badly in need of repair — which was already budgeted and pledged by the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District.

But those repairs are now delayed and facing a cost increase of $3.3 million after Sausalito neighbors complained about repairs to a ferry facility in their town.

The projects are linked, meaning Sausalito’s delays are, by extension, San Francisco’s as well, according to the Golden Gate Bridge district.

The bridge district’s Board of Directors voted Friday to approve the additional $3.3 million for conceptual designs, environmental studies and engineering services for ferry terminal facilities in San Francisco, Larkspur and Sausalito.

“These facilities are 40 years in service and need almost immediate help so we can keep operating service,” said Ewa Bauer, chief engineer of the Golden Gate Bridge district, to a board committee Thursday.

With the new funding approval, the Ferry Ramps and Gangways Project total may cost $11.7 million, which is intended to help smoothly board increasingly crushed crowds onto the Golden Gate Ferry.

Additional money to cover delays to Larkspur’s terminal may also soon be requested, Bauer said.

The revitalization of the more than 150-foot-long hydraulic ramps and gangways at the San Francisco Ferry Building, as well as in Sausalito and Larkspur, would also smooth boarding for wheelchair users under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

But all was not smooth sailing. Denis Mulligan, executive director of the Golden Gate Bridge district, said in 2015 Sausalito neighbors complained the new gangways had elements that were too tall. Neighbors also said its size was out of character with the small town.

So the district opted to work with neighbors on a redesign.

“To build consensus takes time,” Mulligan told the San Francisco Examiner. “We didn’t want to be the big, bad agency and steamroll them.”

That cooperation was not without consequence. “The prolonged reviews of the Sausalito terminal design have resulted in delays to project development for all three facilities and additional costs associated with the delays,” reads a Golden Gate Bridge district staff report.

And the district may need to throw its older work out the window.

Even though environmental studies, technical reports and “regulatory agency consultations” for San Francisco’s terminal were completed long ago, staff wrote, and due to “the passage of time” they must now be re-evaluated.

In September the city of Sausalito sued the Golden Gate Bridge district, asserting the district needs written consent on a new project to proceed, which the district contested.
Transit

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A sign about proposed development of the bluff at Thornton State Beach in Daly City on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Retreat center proposed at popular state beach

Daly City residents oppose construction on ocean bluffs

Rev. Roland Gordon shows “The Great Cloud of Witnesses” collage mural at the Ingleside Presbyterian Church, which he began building in 1980.<ins> (</ins>
Rev. Roland Gordon preaches love in action

Pastor promotes peace, hope through art and prayer

Basketball (Shutterstock)
SI alum Begovich gets his moment, but Stanford falls on Senior Day

MAPLES PAVILION — Generally speaking, Stanford’s home finale on Saturday afternoon, a… Continue reading

U.S. Attorney David Anderson announces federal firearms charges against two men for their roles in a March 2019 shooting outside the Fillmore Heritage Center in a news conference alongside SFPD staff at the Phillip Burton Federal Building on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Departing U.S. attorney predicts corruption probe will continue

David Anderson shook up City Hall as top federal prosecutor

Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton, a former school board member, has been asked to help secure an agreement between the school district and teacher’s union. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
 <ins></ins>
Supervisor Walton tapped to mediate teacher contract talks

District and union at odds over hours in-person students should be in the classroom

Most Read