A new ferry terminal is coming to north Vancouver Island, and it should open sometime next year.
The new 155-square-metre (1668 square-foot) terminal building will be modern and replace the aging structure at 1001 Island Hwy. in Campbell River, according to BC Ferries.
Deborah Marshall, BC Ferries’ executive director of public affairs, says the company issued a request for proposals on Aug. 28 to secure a contractor to build the terminal, which should take 10 to 12 months to complete.
Marshall says the new terminal will include an indoor passenger ticketing area “for better one-on-one service,” as well as new washroom facilities, a new exit lane from the pre-ticketing area and improved drop-off.
“We expect to award a contract to the successful bidder on October 2, 2023. The earliest the contractor would mobilize is Oct. 30, 2023,” she told CHEK News in a statement.
The Campbell River terminal is home to two new hybrid-electric Island Class vessels, which replaced the MV Powell River Queen in January.
The Island Class vessels, also deployed to routes like Nanaimo Harbour to Gabriola Island, were lauded for increasing passenger capacity. However, the Gabriola Ferry Advisory Committee later warned that more travellers using these ferries were missing sailings due to vehicle loading issues.
At the time, BC Ferries said it always had issues loading and unloading longer or lower vehicles at extreme low or high tides, but the committee argued that these problems were happening more often than with the former vessels.
Modified ticketing process
The Campbell River terminal is the last stop for ferrygoers travelling to Quadra Island, and Marshall says customers will notice a “slightly modified” ticketing process when construction is underway.
“There will be a temporary ticket booth during construction, which will have a full point-of-sale system. Additionally, we will be using mobile point-of-sale (handheld device) to supplement any extra ticketing that’s required,” she said.
“Customers will be familiar with the mobile point-of-sale, as we currently use them today. The administration and washroom buildings will also be temporary trailers.”
Marshall says that during this time, there will also be a temporary reduction in the size of the vehicle-holding compound at various times so contractors can use the lanes as a lay-up area for construction materials.
The new terminal should be completed in late 2024.