Pierce County Ferry riders should be aware of several items during the Fourth of July weekend.
During the Fourth of July weekend, a run departing Steilacoom at 10 p.m. on July 3 and 4 will be offered. The run departing Steilacoom at 4:45 a.m. will be canceled on July 4.
Two-boat service will be offered between noon and 8 p.m. Fridays and Sundays in July and August as part of a summer pilot program.
During the Fourth of July weekend, two-boat service will be offered July 1, 3 and 5. In addition to normally scheduled runs, the system’s second ferry will depart Steilacoom at 12:30 p.m., 1:50 p.m., 2:50 p.m., 3:50 p.m., 4:50 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Ferry riders can view the schedule at www.piercecountywa.org/ferry.
Plan ahead for extreme tides
Ferry riders in large vehicles and vehicles with low ground clearance - such as an RV, commercial truck, sports car or a vehicle towing a trailer – traveling to or from Anderson and Ketron islands should plan ahead to avoid damage to vehicles, ramps and the ferry during extreme tides July 1-5.
Load restrictions will be in place on some sailings during extreme tides, and riders may be asked to go on a different sailing. Extreme tides are expected:
- July 1: 8:45 to 10:45 a.m., 4 to 6 p.m.
- July 2: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., 5 to 7 p.m.
- July 3: 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 5:45 to7:45 p.m.
- July 4: 4 to 6 a.m., 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
- July 5: 4:45 to 6:45 a.m., 11:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m., 7:15-9:15 p.m.
Crew members will be checking all large vehicles and vehicles towing trailers that arrive during sailings affected by the extreme tides. Riders should call Steve Caputo, HMS Ferries, Inc. general manager, at (253) 588-5290 to discuss which run might work best for them.
“Ferry crew and staff will work with travelers to minimize inconveniences,” Caputo said. “We can avoid damage to vehicles, ramps and the ferry by being conservative during extreme tides.”
Extreme tides are expected regularly this summer. Through Sept. 5, ferry riders in large vehicles should call ahead of time for more information and to discuss their preferred sailing.
Holiday weekends during the summer typically see increased traffic and an increase in large vehicles.
Fireworks prohibited on the ferry
Fireworks are prohibited on the ferry. Only non-aerial, non-explosive fireworks – such as sparklers – in their original packaging may be transported aboard the ferry. No fireworks of any type are allowed to be ignited on the ferry at any time.
The Pierce County Ferry System provides service between Steilacoom, Anderson Island and Ketron Island. More information about the system is available at www.piercecountywa.org/ferry.
Deb Wallace, Public Works airport and ferry administrator
Steve Caputo, HMS Ferries, Inc. general manager