Construction on the new Kootenay Lake ferry has entered the next stage taking it one step closer to replacing the MV Balfour.
According to a media release from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, the next phase of the project will consist of assembling the hull and launching it into Kootenay Lake near a temporary shipyard in Nelson early this summer.
The vessel will remain moored at the shipyard where it will be outfitted with electrical, mechanical, and control systems along with interior components in preparation for the anticipated 2024 completion date.
The ministry states there should be no impact, or delays, to service. The MV Osprey 2000 will remain in service throughout the year, with the MV Balfour providing refit relief, and supplemental summer service.
The Balfour was launched in 1954 and has a capacity of 28 vehicles. The new ferry, which is as yet unnamed, will accommodate 55 vehicles. It is designed to eventually be converted from diesel to electric propulsion.