ANTIOCH -- City leaders here recently chimed in on their preferred sites along the riverfront for a long-sought ferry terminal.
The options presented by Water Emergency Transportation Authority staff last week included two potential sites near the Antioch Marina and two in the city's historic Rivertown section.
Concept designs were drawn up for each option, said Chad Mason, an agency planner. The feasibility study did not identify any "fatal flaws" for any of the sites. Further, the area's deep-water channel means there would be no need for dredging, he said.
The sites include:
Each location has its advantages and disadvantages. The marina sites have better access to parking, but some council members raised concerns that those locations may not boost Rivertown's economy as they had hoped. The conditions of the existing piers and docks are also unknown and could affect the final cost.
The council narrowed its picks to one site from each area: the new ramp near the boat
Mayor Wade Harper said the "cost-prohibitive" Riverview Lodge option should be off the table, adding he favored the downtown site off the nearby pier.
Councilman Gary Agopian agreed, saying the site by the restaurant would cause too much congestion. Parking constraints in the Rivertown area and the possibility of developing vacant land south of the marina also led him to favor the new ramp idea.
Councilman Tony Tiscareno said he favored a Rivertown site to energize business and increase foot traffic.
WETA recently included an additional $25 million for expansion into Contra Costa County past Richmond in its long-range transit plan as a "place holder," though that funding is contingent on creation of a sustainable funding plan by stakeholders for construction and long-term operations. The agency continues to work with county transportation officials and Antioch, Martinez and Hercules representatives on those issues.
Once those issues are hashed out, WETA will look to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the city, then start with environmental studies, Mason said.
Antioch's planning and economic development commissions will also weigh in on ferry terminal options.
Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.