Pierce County Ferry System Projects

Main Engine Overhaul Project

The Christine Anderson is due for a main engine overhaul in October 2023. The contractor working for Pierce County will be disassembling both main engines and replacing many of the internal parts. The project is anticipated to begin on Monday, Oct. 16. During the project, the vessel will be required to come out of service but will remain in the water at the Steilacoom Terminal. The Christine Anderson is expected to return to passenger service in mid-November, in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. 

This comprehensive engine work is required every 15,000 run hours on the engines and was not part of the recent dry dock project due to the availability of parts. (Similar to how cars are maintained by mileage, boat engines are maintained by run hours.) This project is estimated to cost approximately $400,000 and will be funded by the Pierce County Ferry Operating Fund. 

Relatedly, the contractor will be rebuilding both generator engines on the Christine Anderson, starting Sept. 11. This work is expected to take about two weeks to complete.

While the Christine Anderson is offline, the Steilacoom II will provide service to Anderson and Ketron islands. In the event of an emergency or any service disruptions with the ferry, riders may experience delays or canceled runs. Please plan your trip accordingly.

The Steilacoom II is scheduled to undergo a similar main engine overhaul work in January 2024.

Check back for more details on the project.

2022-2023 Long Term Ferry Financial Plan

The final report of the Pierce County Ferry System Financial Assessment is now available. The document outlines a 20-year financial plan for the Pierce County ferry system, which provides year-round vehicle and passenger ferry service from Steilacoom to Anderson and Ketron islands. 

2023 Pierce County Ferry System Financial Assessment

Goals of the long-term financial plan

  • Identify funding strategies that support sustainable ferry operations.
  • Provide greater predictability and consistency in future fare rate setting.

Project timeline

  • September 2023: 2024-2025 biennial budget submitted to Council
  • August 2023: Publish final report for ferry fare financial study
  • July 11, 2023: EIDC Meeting, watch online: July 11, 2023 Committee Meeting
  • March 30 - April 28, 2023: Online Open House
  • March 30, 2023: Open House Thursday, March 30: Anderson Island Historical Society Archival Building, 9306 Otso Point Rd., Anderson Island, WA 98303 
  • Feb. 28, 2023: EIDC Meeting, watch online: Feb. 28, 2023 Committee Meeting 
  • February 2023: Survey results 
  • January - February 2023: Public survey & outreach
  • November - December 2022: Fare options analysis
  • Oct. 11, 2022: Economic & Infrastructure Development Committee (EIDC) Meeting. View the presentation, status of the Ferry Long Term Financial Plan.

Ferry Dry Dock Maintenance Projects

Both ferries underwent a comprehensive dry dock project: Christine Anderson from October 2022 to March 2023 and Steilacoom II from March to June 2023. This work is required every five years to ensure continuous maintenance and preservation of the vessels. The dry dock project includes a machinery overhaul, system modernization, hull inspection and repair, Coast Guard Certification, painting, and more.

Summer 2023 Shuttle Service Summary  

With the delay of the dry dock project for Steilacoom II, Pierce County Ferry provided a shuttle service to address the higher ridership volume during peak season this summer. A shuttle was offered at no cost to all ferry riders in Steilacoom and Anderson Island to encourage passengers to walk on the ferry as an alternative mode of transportation.  

Between May 26 and June 25, 2023, the shuttle operated a total of 15 days. A total of 116 passengers rode the shuttle to get around Anderson Island, while a total of 32 passengers traveled on the shuttle between the Pierce College parking lot and the Steilacoom Terminal.  

We appreciate everyone who took advantage of the shuttle service, and we will continue to explore transportation alternatives to compliment the ferry service.

Ferry Planning

  • 14-Year Ferry Program The 14-Year Ferry Program (2023-2036) is a ferry system planning document required by state law. Pierce County embeds this document annually with the County's Six-Year Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). 
  • 2015 Waterborne Transportation Study Most recent report with recommendations for improvements to the Pierce County Ferry System. The study included: population and demographic changes projected through 2034, service changes that would enhance island economy and livability, financial sustainability of the ferry system and 14-year capital needs of the ferry system. 
  • 2013 Ferry Service Evaluation The purpose of the 2013 Ferry Service Evaluation was twofold: first, to evaluate several proposed service changes that have been suggested, and second, to evaluate the results of recently implemented and historical service changes that have been put into effect. The Pierce County Ferry System will use this study to determine future potential schedule changes to better serve its customers. 
  • 2003 Waterborne Transportation Study Prior report with recommendations for improvements to the Pierce County Ferry System.

Projects out for advertisement

Find out about any projects out for advertisement on the Bid Opportunities page.

Contact Us
Customer Service & Refunds: 
(253) 588-1950

After Hours Emergency: 
(253) 798-6000
Steilacoom Landing:
56 Union Ave.
Steilacoom, WA 98388

Office Location:
9850 64th Street W.
University Place, WA 98467