DECEMBER 15, 2020 – The Kootenay Lake Ferry Service Improvements Project is continuing to progress on improvements to both terminals, and development of the new vessel.
Work on the improvements to the Balfour and Kootenay Bay terminals is progressing, with designs nearing completion and construction expected to begin in Spring 2021. In addition to the terminal capacity and intersection upgrades, planned improvements include upgrades to washroom facilities, new sheltered waiting areas, better safety signage, EV charging stations, and greenspace improvements in addition to many others.
Near final designs for both terminals can now be viewed below, and in detail at gov.bc.ca/kootenaylakeferryproject.
PRELIMINARY ROAD WORKS
Preliminary work, including tree removal and utilities work, along Highway 31 near Balfour terminal and for the rerouted Upper Balfour Road/Busk Road intersection will begin as early as January 2021.
Road and ferry users can expect to see crews at work by the Balfour terminal entrance beginning December or early January. Please obey all road signs, reduce speed, and follow the instructions of safety crews. Health and safety measures continue to be in effect to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Please obey all measures and guidelines to help keep other ferry users and our crew safe.
Design of the new electric-ready vessel continues to progress, with the vessel on course to enter service in early 2023. The new vessel will more than double the capacity of the MV Balfour, which it will replace.
In 2016 and 2018, the Province consulted with ferry users, area residents and businesses about proposed improvements to the service, safety and infrastructure of the Kootenay Lake Ferry.
The Province made key changes to the final project plan after considering the input received, along with technical, environmental and financial considerations. Some of these considerations were documented in the 2018 Consideration Memo that can be found on the project website. In April 2019, the Province, with funding support from the Government of Canada, announced that safety and efficiency improvements to the Kootenay Lake Ferry Service will be implemented beginning in the Fall of 2019.
The project involves the procurement of a new right-sized electric-ready ferry, safety and amenity improvements to both the Balfour and Kootenay Bay terminals, and now-completed minor dredging in the west arm of Kootenay Lake.
Collectively, these improvements will provide ferry users with a safer and more reliable ferry service as well as contribute to the Province’s goal of employing electric propulsion on all inland ferries by 2040.
UPDATED TERMINAL RENDERINGS
To view the renderings in detail, or to find more information about the Kootenay Lake Ferry Service Improvements, please visit www.gov.bc.ca/kootenaylakeferryproject.