Sausalito ferry terminal remains closed after structural issue found

A reopening date for the Sausalito pier still has not been determined after a structural issue was discovered during a routine inspection last week.

Since then, the Sausalito Ferry Pier, a critical asset to Bay Area tourism, has been closed indefinitely.

Inspectors, engineers, and maritime repair experts are somewhat hampered as repairs can only be accomplished during low tide.

Paolo Consulich-Swarz, a public information officer for the Golden Gate Transportation District, said that staff on Friday "discovered an issue with one of the four piles that support the pier and ferry service, out of an abundance of caution, was suspended until we're able to complete those repairs.

The hope is to have the repairs finished in a matter of days, if all goes well.

"There are special pieces that need to be fabricated. At this point, we don't have a timeline (of) when those will be done. That may extend this closure and the suspension of service," said Consulich-Swartz.

More than one ferry line has been impacted.

The Blue & Gold Fleet primarily transports tourists across to Sausalito, along with some commuters. However, the most significant impact is on the Golden Gate Ferry service, a major commuter route for traveling to and from San Francisco.

"Typically I'll take the bus if the ferry is out of service for some reason, not a huge deal. But I do love my ferry mornings," said Sausalito resident Bobbi.

Though a bus bridge has been put in place, that's of little consolation to tourists.

"We don't live anywhere near a ferry. So, we were excited to have that opportunity and experience that; (it's) part of San Francisco," said Rebecca Warrick of Oregon.

Many tourists choose to rent a bike in the city, ride over the Golden Gate Bridge, and take a ferry back.

"Just within this couple block radius, there are about seven bike rental shops, this is obviously a huge part of our business," said Blazing Saddles Bike Rental manager Sean Sears.

Robert Dunlop, a tourist from Montana, rode his bike over the bridge and wanted to avoid the long, uphill return to the bridge.

"Well, I did it 30 years ago, but I'm not so sure (that) I'll be so successful, but I'll get up the hill," said Dunlop.

The Golden Gate Ferry carries some 500 passengers a day. The Blue and Gold Fleet also hauls 500 a day on weekdays, but 1,000 passengers a day on weekends.