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Temporary service changes coming to Kootenay Lake Ferry system

The service interruption is due to annual low-water levels in the West Arm of Kootenay Lake. — The Nelson Daily file photo

Soon, spring will have sprung. And so will delays for traffic on the Kootenay Lake Ferry system due to annual low-water levels in the West Arm of Kootenay Lake during the spring.

Which is why the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is implementing the following service changes for MV Osprey and MV Balfour ferries.

Changes include:

March 10 to March 23:

  • MV Osprey 2000 in service with a reduced weight load
  • Potential for increased wait times during busy sailings

March 24 to April 12:

  • MV Balfour in service
  • Vehicle capacity reduced to 28 vehicles
  • Potential for increased wait times during busy sailings

April 13 to April 20:

  • MV Osprey 2000 back in service, with reduced weight load
  • Potential for increased wait times during busy sailings

The MOTI said depending on the number and weight of commercial vehicles boarding the vessel during this time, the number of vehicles may need to be reduced. In some cases, this might result in a sailing wait for heavier vehicles.

In an effort to prevent service interruptions in the future, the MOTI said the Province is looking at selective dredging in the shallow areas of the channel near the Balfour Terminal in fall 2019.

During these service interruptions, travellers are suggested to:

  • go to DriveBC for up-to-the-minute information, ferry schedules, delays and to see cameras;
  • check the overhead messaging boards in Nelson and Creston;
  • plan to arrive early for the ferry;
  • allow time for a potential sailing wait;
  • consider off-peak crossing times before 9 a.m. or after 5 p.m.; and
  • help spread the word to friends and family about these changes.