VALLEJO (CBS SF) — A $22 million passenger ferry facility will be built on the Mare Island waterfront before 2015, Vallejo officials announced Wednesday.

The maintenance, administration and passenger facility will enable the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) to offer ferry service from Mare Island to the existing Vallejo Ferry Terminal and beyond, Vallejo officials said.

The new facility is part of a deal involving the City of Vallejo, developer Lennar Mare Island and the WETA.

Construction will start later this year. The facility will include maintenance, fueling and berthing facilities, administrative offices, improvements to the waterfront and enhanced public access.

The new facility will allow Mare Island residents, employees and Touro University students to embark on and disembark from the Vallejo Ferry on the Mare Island side.

“The new facility will create jobs and improve public access and use of the Mare Island waterfront. It will also give Mare Island residents and workers a new transportation option,” Vallejo Mayor Osby Davis said.

Forty-two full-time jobs that exist on the site will be retained, and WETA will expand its Mare Island operations as Bay Area ferry service grows, Lennar Mare Island officials said.

The project calls for the construction of five berths to facilitate daily operations, maintenance, repairs and passenger access.

Lennar Mare Island will continue improvements to the waterfront that enhance pedestrian access, including benches, lights, waste receptacles, signs and a parking lot.

Historic Building 165 will be transformed into shops and offices, and a more efficient fueling system on Mare Island will allow 48,000 gallons of diesel fuel storage, eliminating costly daily deliveries.

“The new facility reflects our commitment to our loyal North Bay passengers and will serve to improve upon our excellent service to the region,” Executive Director of WETA Nina Rannells said.

“LMI and the community collaborated on a long term vision for ferry service to Mare Island beginning in 1998 and this agreement reflects LMI’s and the city of Vallejo’s enduring commitment to implementing the community’s vision for Mare Island,” LMI spokesman Jason Keadjian said.

The WETA was established to improve the ability of ferries to respond in an emergency or a disaster when waterways are the only safe transportation option.

The San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority operates the San Francisco Bay Ferry, which serves the San Francisco Ferry Building and Pier 39/Fisherman’s Wharf, Harbor Bay and Main Street in Alameda, Jack London Square in Oakland South San Francisco, Vallejo and seasonal service to AT&T Park and Angel Island.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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