New cable ferries across the Kootenay River at Harrop and Glade are expected to be in service by the end of 2018. The Ministry of Transportation has issued a request for quotes from potential bidders.
“The replacement ferries for will be able to take more vehicles than the existing ferries, with capacity increased to handle commercial vehicles at full highway loads,” the ministry said.
Presently the Glade ferry has a capacity of eight vehicles but the new one would handle nine. The Harrop ferry currently handles 18 vehicles but the new vessel will be able to carry 24. Both ferries take about five minutes to cross.
The Harrop ferry operates on demand 24 hours a day while the Glade ferry only takes a break between 2:20 and 5 a.m.
Both are operated by Western Pacific Marine under government contracts.
Also set for replacement are the Arrow Park ferry on Upper Arrow Lake and the Adams Lake ferry.
The request for quotes is expected to be open for about five weeks. Up to three respondents will be shortlisted for the second stage, a request for proposals.
Work on the first new vessel is expected to begin next year, with all four scheduled to be in service by the end of 2018.
The total cost of all four ferries will be announced once a final proponent is chosen and the formal procurement process is completed, the ministry said.