Back to top

Replacement ferry for Upper Arrow Lake in the works

After 43 years in service, the DEV Galena (year-round) and MV Shelter Bay (summer only) on the Upper Arrow Lake route are reaching the end of their service life.

The Province will issue a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to start the process to replace the aging ferries that have plied Upper Arrow Lake in the north Slocan Valley for more than 40 years.

Inland ferry services are an integral part of the transportation network, moving residents, visitors and goods within British Columbia.

Ferry service will not be interrupted at any time during the ferry replacement process, which will take approximately three years, including crew training.

The RFQ will be released in early July and is expected to be open for approximately six weeks.

Up to three respondents to the RFQ will be shortlisted for the second stage – the request for proposal. It is expected the final decision will be made by the end of 2011 to have the new vessel ready in 2014.

Inland ferries like the Upper Arrow Lake are used on routes where lake or river crossings are a less-costly alternative to constructing roads or bridges.

That crossing between Galena and Shelter bays is a 20-minute crossing that reduces a car trip from Nelson to Revelstoke from eight hours to four hours. In 2010, the existing ferries on Upper Arrow Lake carried 231,993 automobile equivalents and 325,572 passengers.

The vessel is part of the inland ferry service operated by private contractors on behalf of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.