Balfour Ferry Terminal
The Balfour Ferry terminal is located in the community of Balfour at the junction of Highway 3A and Highway 31.
Balfour has served as the western terminus of the Kootenay Lake ferry since 1947. The Kootenay Lake ferry is a vehicle and passenger ferry service that operates between Balfour and Kootenay bay, a distance of nearly 9 km, and is currently provided by two ferries, the MV Osprey build in 2000, and the MV Balfour built in 1954 which operates in the summer when the demand is higher. The existing site has been the location for the ferry berth and holding compound for many years, and some amenities have developed around the terminal as the community has grown.
Recent studies have revealed navigation issues in the west arm that may require dredging. At the same time, ferry and highway traffic has increased to the point that the existing site is experiencing increased pressures – on marine and land-side. Furthermore, the aging MV Balfour is scheduled for retirement within the next few years.
This project is looking to address the challenges at the Balfour Ferry terminal to improve safety and service for ferry users.
The project is in the planning phase.
Following the close of consultation on the future of the Balfour terminal, the Ministry is continuing to do further work on the community’s preferred option, which is to retain the terminal at Balfour.
The Ministry has conducted various transportation and technical studies over the past 25 years looking at transportation options for the corridor, including a 2015 technical feasibility study (SNC Lavalin) analyzing a number of potential ferry terminal sites, as well as improvements to the existing Balfour site.
Public consultation occurred between June 15, 2016 and October 6, 2016. The public consultation is now close, and a Public Consultation Summary Report was prepared.