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Improvements to Balfour, Kootenay Bay ferry terminals set to begin in New Year

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
December 15th, 2020

In a media release Tuesday, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is advising the public to expect to see tree clearing and other construction activity near the Balfour and Kootenay Bay ferry terminals this winter as part of the project to improve Kootenay Lake ferry service.

Ministry staff said preliminary work on safety improvements to the Upper Balfour Road intersection, including tree removal and utilities work, could begin as early as January 2021. Drivers are advised to watch for workers and equipment in the area. Delays to traffic should be minimal and will be posted to DriveBC.

“Improvements to the Balfour and Kootenay Bay terminals are progressing, with designs nearing completion. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2021,” the media release said.

“In addition to the terminal capacity and intersection upgrades, the planned improvements include upgrades to washroom facilities, new sheltered waiting areas, better safety signage, EV charging stations, greenspace improvements and many others.”

The Ministry said the design of the new electric-ready vessel continues to progress steadily, with the vessel on course to enter service in early 2023.

This new vessel will more than double the capacity of the MV Balfour, which it will replace.

“The new ship will be able to accommodate around 60 vehicles and, used in tandem with the larger MV Osprey 2000, will reduce sailing waits during the busy summer months,” Ministry said.

“The vessel will be fully converted to electric propulsion by 2030, once shore power is installed and reliability of the technology advances.”

The Ministry said ferry users are reminded health and safety measures are in effect to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and are asked to obey all measures and guidelines to help keep other ferry users and the crew safe.

The Kootenay Lake Ferry Service Improvements project is funded by the Province of B.C. with a contribution from the Government of Canada through the New Building Canada Fund’s Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component-National and Regional Projects.

Learn More:

More information on the project, including near final designs for both terminals can be viewed online.

Categories: General

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