Kootenay Lake Ferry Service Improvements
The Kootenay Lake ferry is a vehicle and passenger ferry service that operates between Balfour and Kootenay Bay, a distance of nearly nine km, and is currently provided by two ferries, the MV Osprey built in 2000, and the MV Balfour built in 1954 which operates in the summer when the demand is higher.
The Balfour ferry terminal is located in the community of Balfour at the junction of Highway 3A and Highway 31, and has served as the western terminus of the Kootenay Lake ferry since 1947. Following a consultation process in 2016 with area residents, government determined the terminal should remain at Balfour. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is taking steps to address challenges and make improvements:
- Temporary service changes – March 11 to April 21: to ensure ongoing safe and reliable operation of the Kootenay Lake Ferry during annual low spring water levels
- Round 2 Consultation — February 19 to March 30: to get your feedback on proposed improvements
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 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.