Additional Comments to WTA and the
Berkeley Waterfront Commission.
December 8 2004
Given possible constraints on funding for terminal construction, I think the Berkeley fishing pier is becoming the most viable choice by a wide margin.
If we locate the terminal on the existing pier a few hundred feet out from the shoreline, there will be virtually no dredging required. All it takes is a widening of the existing pier to make some room for a ticket machine and/or booth and a small protected waiting area. Actual boarding could be from a permanent float so movable gangways, with no tidal difference to make up, can be very small.
Historically, ferries operating from Jacob's Wharf or other Berkeley piers have not had any wave protection at all. My guess is that some wave protection will be required to meet modern requirements, but there may be options for floating breakwater modules at much reduced cost compared to a sheet pile breakwater like the one on the north side of the Berkeley harbor entrance. (The failed floating tire breakwater at Pier 39 is not an applicable example for several reasons.)
With no dredging, very few additional pilings and no fixed breakwater, the terminal construction cost and permitting time-line are both significantly improved. (Not to mention that there's already enough nearby parking on city-owned land...)
I therefore recommend that WTA narrow the Berkeley/Albany siting options to the Municipal Fishing Pier or other locations immediately to the south that can take advantage of the parking area at Hs. Lordships.