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Province updates progress on Kootenay Lake Ferry Services Improvements Project

Ferry traffic at the Balfour terminal waits for the next boat to arrive while work continues on the Kootenay Lake Ferry Services Improvements Project. — DriveBC photo

In its most recent update, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said construction at both the Balfour and Kootenay Bay Terminals this summer has progressed significantly is on track to be completed by the end of 2021.

This works comes following a summer of challenging summer of wildfires, extreme heat, and the ongoing pandemic for the Kootenay Lake Ferry Services Improvements Project.

“The majority of night work required at the Balfour Terminal has now been completed,” the Kootenay Lake Ferry Services Improvements Project update, dated October 14, 2021, said.

“This was done to allow large excavation work to occur safely due to the site’s proximity to the highway and the active ferry service.

The province said the top priority was to ensure the safety of pedestrians, ferry users, highway traffic, and customers visiting businesses at the terminal area and working at night significantly reduced the risk of harm posed to both workers and the public during certain construction activities.

The Kootenay Lake Ferry Services Improvements Project update said a few evenings of limited nighttime activities may still be required to work around weather conditions with mitigation measures in place to reduce the impact of noise, light, and vibration on nearby residents.

The Kootenay Lake Ferry Services Improvements Project update said most of night work activities at the Balfour terminal are now complete. — Photo courtesy Province of BC.

The Kootenay Lake Ferry Services Improvements Project update said the project contractor will limit the use of backup signals and alarms, reduce vibratory settings, adjust lighting angles, and where possible, use machinery as buffers between the active work location and nearby residences.

“Other terminal progress updates include the installation of new signage and lighting, and completion of the new washroom’s foundation at the Balfour Terminal,” the Kootenay Lake Ferry Services Improvements Project update said.

“At Kootenay Bay, crews recently completed asphalt paving and the installation of new safety signage as well as electric vehicle charging stations.”

Meanwhile, the preparation for assembly of the new electric vessel is nearly complete at the temporary shipyard on the waterfront near the former Kootenay Forest Product pecolift.

Steel has been shipped to the fabrication site, and as the modules arrive during the fall, the ship will begin to take form.

Residents can visit the new public footpath along the assembly yard and watch the vessel come together on the dry dock. The new vessel will replace the MV Balfour when it enters service in 2023.

For more information regarding the Kootenay Lake Ferry Service improvements visit the project website.

Left, the foundation of the Balfour terminal’s new washroom while the right photo shows the new electric vehicle charging stations were installed at Kootenay Bay. — Photo courtesy Province of BC.