The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure of British Columbia is working on the Kootenay Lake Ferry Dredging Project aimed to improve the route that runs between Balfour and Kootenay Bay across Kootenay Lake.
Masse Environmental Consultants was hired by the Ministry to conduct an environmental assessment to support permitting requirements for the Kootenay Lake ferry dredging project.
This project involves deepening / widening the navigational channel for the Kootenay Lake ferry between the ferry terminal at Balfour and the entrance to the West Arm of the lake.
According to the Masse Environmental Consultants, the existing Balfour to Kootenay Bay ferry route has a number of navigational challenges due to the narrow channel width and shallow depths in some areas of the lake.
One of these challenges is that the current navigation route through the West Arm has localized high spots, and does not meet Fisheries and Oceans Canada/Canadian Coast Guard minimum depth requirements for the ferries in use, said the company in the report.
The expected duration of the project, if approved, will be 6-8 weeks, including mobilization. The preferred work window is between September 15 and November 30, 2018. This is after the peak summer season and will enable the work to be completed before the low water period that occurs in late winter.