Funds have been approved for a new ferry to replace the aging MV Balfour, which travels between the Balfour and Kootenay Bay terminals on Kootenay Lake.
On Monday the federal Ministry of Infrastructure and Communities and the provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced a combined $54 million will be allocated towards the project.
The new ferry will have nearly twice the capacity of the Balfour, and be electric-ready. That means the vessel won’t operate on electricity, but will be ready for a conversion at a later date.
The funds will also go to upgrading the Balfour and Kootenay Bay terminals.
Improvements will include new washrooms, sheltered waiting areas, public parking spaces, and better terminal access for drivers on Highway 31 and 3A.
The new ferry is expected to set sail by 2022.