Ferry terminal reopening delayed

ALERT BAY-Quadra Queen II will resume service May 4, after submerged boulder interrupts construction and scuttles April 28 reopening.

Those who commute between Alert Bay and Port McNeill will have to wait a little longer than they originally expected until ferry service resumes between the communities.

BC Ferries announced Wednesday that Quadra Queen II will return to resume regular service beginning Saturday, May 4.

The upgraded BC Ferries terminal facility on Cormorant Island was expected to be ready for service Apr. 28, but piledriving crews were stymied by a large, submerged boulder and specialized equipment had to be brought to the site to assist in its removal.

The delay was initially announced Monday, but BC Ferries had to wait for an engineering report to determine the length of time before the work could be completed.

Construction at the terminal has left residents without the services of the Quadra Queen II since Apr.  8.

While the ferry has been unavailable, a water taxi service has been filling the role of the ferry for foot passengers during the upgrade, while freight has been barged across.

While the lack of vehicle transport has undoubtedly been inconvenient for some, Alert Bay ShopRite Manager Kim Mercer was quick to praise the project managers for working to ease any issues.

“These guys have been absolutely fantastic, they’ve gone above and beyond for us,” said Mercer, explaining that the managers have personally helped unload deliveries to the store to ensure the truck can make it’s turnaround.

“They’ve been so accommodating. We’ve had an hour to unload and they’ve come over to help. These guys are fantastic and they don’t get the recognition they deserve.”

The work is part of a series of terminal upgrades being performed by BC Ferries along its coastal system. Similar upgrades will take place in both Port McNeill and Sointula over the next two years.