Wahkiakum County ferry

The Wahkiakum County ferry crosses the lower Columbia River between the U.S. states of Washington and Oregon, and is the last regularly scheduled car ferry to cross the Columbia River between the two states.

Wahkiakum County ferry
The ferry Wahkiakum in 2007
WaterwayColumbia River
CarriesState Route 409
Terminals2
OperatorWahkiakum County, Washington
Began operationJune 25, 1925
System length1.4 miles (2.3 km)
Travel time10 minutes
FrequencyHourly
No. of lines1
No. of vessels1

The ferry is located at the terminus of State Route 409, it departs from Puget Island, Washington, which the Julia Butler Hansen Bridge links to the mainland. SR 409 is a spur from State Route 4, and the ferry thus connects that highway to U.S. Route 30 in Oregon. Its status as an extension of SR 409 is why the state of Washington since 1969 has provided financial support for operation of the ferry.[1]

The ferry runs hourly (on the hour from the Washington side and 15 minutes after the hour from the Oregon side) from 5 a.m.-10:15 p.m. 365 days a year (Current as of May 2019). Lunch time service is sometimes interrupted.[2]

A new Puget Island terminal was constructed in 2009–2010 after the state of Washington declared the existing structure deficient.[3] It was paid for in part with federal stimulus funds.

Old ferry

The ferry Wahkiakum had been operated by Wahkiakum County, Washington since 1962[2], between Cathlamet, Washington and Westport, Oregon. According to the Wahkiakum Chamber of Commerce, the ferry held nine cars and a ride across the Columbia took about ten minutes.[4]

Upgrade

In February 2015, the route got a new ferry, the Oscar B, operating a minimum 18 runs per day, every day of the year.[2] It was named for ferryman Oscar Bergseng who worked full and part time for 26 years on the ferry before retiring in 1966.[5]

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