Two British Columbia firms have been shortlisted for the project to design and build four new inland cable ferries.
Following a Request for Qualifications (RFQ), the Province of B.C. has invited Harbour Cruises Ltd. of Vancouver and Waterbridge Steel Inc. of Nakusp to bid on the project.
“These four new inland cable ferries will be important additions to the Province’s inland ferry fleet and the communities they serve,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone. “The fact that two B.C. firms have been invited to move onto the next stage of procurement demonstrates the improved strength and capacity of B.C.’s ship-building industry.”
The cable ferries to be replaced serve the communities of Glade and Harrop-Procter on the Kootenay River, Arrow Park on the Arrow Lakes, and the Adams Lake Indian Band and other residents on Adams Lake. The existing cable ferries serving these communities have now reached the end of their working life. Some have been in service since the 1940’s.
The RFP will close in January 2016. With a successful bid, it is expected work on the first of four new vessels to begin in summer 2016, with all new vessels expected to be in service by the end of 2019.
The renewal of the inland ferry fleet is a priority in B.C. on the Move, the Province’s 10-year transportation plan.
- There are 14 inland ferry routes in B.C., operated for the Province of British Columbia under contract.
- Five of the routes are served by cable ferries, four use free-running ferries and five are reaction ferries, which are propelled by river current.
- Last year, B.C.’s inland ferries carried approximately 1.5 million vehicles and 2.2 million passengers.
- The four cable ferries to be replaced carried almost 480,000 vehicles and 662,000 passengers last year.
For information on Inland Ferries visit: http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/marine/Inland_Ferries_Maps.pdf