Starting on April 6, 2021 and continuing until May 7, 2021 the MV Balfour will be replacing the MV Osprey 2000 for the spring refit. This lengthy refit is required to replace deck hatches on the vessel and also to allow for sand blasting of the car deck surfaces.
The system is still under Covid -19 protocols until the Marine Branch allows the vessels to once again open our lounges and washrooms to the public. Students will continue to have access to the lounges.
Summer season will start on June 18, 2021 until September 12, 2021 with the traditional 2 vessel service schedule.
CONTRACT AWARDED FOR TERMINAL IMPROVEMENTS
The Province awarded a $5.5 million contract to Marwest Industries Ltd. of Castlegar, B.C., for upgrades
to the Kootenay Lake Ferry terminals. Construction will begin this spring, with completion expected by the
end of 2021.
At both terminals, ferry users can expect improvements to the greenspace and amenities, new terminal
attendant stations and new sheltered waiting areas for walk-on passengers.
At the Kootenay Bay Terminal, improvements include: accessibility upgrades to the existing washroom
facility, installation of electric vehicle charging stations, and better terminal lighting and parking.
At the Balfour Terminal, improvements include: significant increase to the vehicle queue capacity, a new
washroom facility, a new transit shelter, overflow parking capacity, and better sidewalks and lighting to
improve connections between the terminal, the new transit stop, and the highway.
Improvements will also be made to Highway 31/3A, along with the realignment of the Upper Balfour Road
and Busk Road intersection, to improve safety and traffic flow within the community.
Artist renderings for both terminals are available at gov.bc.ca/kootenaylakeferryproject.
In April 2019, the Province, with funding support from the Government of Canada, announced safety and
efficiency improvements to the Kootenay Lake Ferry Service.
The project involves the procurement of a new right-sized electric-ready vessel, 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.
For more information about the Kootenay Lake Ferry Service Improvements, please visit http://www.gov.bc.ca/kootenaylakeferryproject
Assembly of the new electric-ready vessel will begin this summer at Western Pacific Marine’s site in
Nelson after the City of Nelson granted its conditional approval in February 2021. In the meantime, site
preparation, vessel design, and ongoing permitting continue to progress.
The new vessel is on course to enter service in 2023 and 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.