Progress on service improvements to Kootenay Lake Ferry
People travelling Highway 3A/Highway 31 will 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.
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.
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.
Design of the new electric-ready vessel continues to progress steadily, 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.
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. The vessel will be fully converted to electric propulsion by 2030, once shore power is installed and reliability of the technology advances.
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 governments of Canada and British Columbia are contributing to the Kootenay Lake Ferry Service Improvements project through the Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component of the New Building Canada Plan.
More information on the project, including near final designs for both terminals can be viewed online: