The second of four ferries being built by Waterbridge Steel in Nakusp is about to enter service.
The Glade II is now in its testing phase and should be fully operational by early February.
Glade is a community on the Kootenay River between Nelson and Castlegar.
“This new, state-of-the-art ferry gives West Kootenay residents the comfort of knowing they can get groceries, attend medical appointments and access other important services when they need to,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “This ferry will not only help residents get from A to B, but will also ensure a safe, reliable and efficient crossing of the Kootenay River for many years to come.”
The new ferries are larger and able to carry more vehicles than the existing ferries, with capacity increased to handle commercial vehicles at full highway loads.
While the ferries are docked during off-peak hours, power will be supplied by on-board batteries. This will reduce noise at the terminal, and lower the vessels’ greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition to the new ferry for Glade, Waterbridge is building ferries to replace aging vessels serving the community of Harrop, on the Kootenay River, and Arrow Park on Arrow Lake. A new cable ferry to serve Adams Lake went into service in spring 2017.
Waterbridgewas awarded a $27.9-million contract in 2016 to design and build the four new cable ferries. All new vessels are scheduled to be in service by the end of 2019.
The project created about 30 jobs for four years during the construction in Nakusp.