Ride the Ducks to take new route over Fremont and Ballard Bridges


Nearly four months after the tragic accident on the Aurora Bridge, Ride the Ducks Seattle is taking steps to return to business, KOMO News reports.

According to the article, late on Wednesday the City announced their new agreement with Ride the Ducks Seattle and our neighborhood is on the new route. When they return to business, instead of crossing the Aurora Bridge the Ducks will now use the alternative routes of both the Fremont and Ballard Bridges.

Fremont Bridge will be primarily used with Ballard Bridge being used for the “Maintenance Facility to new route” and the “Salmon Bay for Foul Weather” route.

According to KOMO, a total of seven ducks have now passed their annual Coast Guard inspection and three more are likely to before the end of January. Ducks 15, 16, 17 were out and about on Wednesday, driving through the streets, crossing the Fremont Bridge and practicing safety drills on Lake Union.

“We make sure it’s safe for passengers to go out on the water,” Lt. Sarah Rodino, a Marine Inspector with the U.S. Coast Guard’s Sector Puget Sound, told KOMO News. “We look at the hull of the vessel, steering, rudder, propeller, structure inside, life saving equipment and fire fighting equipment.”

After the tragic accident the ducks were taken off the road and a three-month investigation was undertaken by the Utilities and Transportation Commission. According to KOMO, the investigation found a large number of violations that were mostly minor or corrected.

Back in December, Ride the Duck’s Seattle president Brian Tracey promised to resume operations and make his fleet the safest on the road. According to KOMO, since December’s announcement the Ducks and drivers have been back into training under the new regulations. The biggest change, insisted on by SDOT before the company’s tour routes were approved, is that a deckhand will now run the tour and the captain will be focused solely on driving the vehicle.

According to KOMO, the Ducks may be back on the roads before the month is out.

Photo courtesy of Ride the Ducks Seattle.

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