Workers in Alert Bay construct a barge dock on the waterfront to serve Cormorant Island while BC Ferries suspends service in October. The $30

Islands brace for ferry closure

Travelers will be without the services of the Quadra Queen II for a month while upgrades to the Port McNeill ferry dock are completed.

Gazette staff

PORT McNEILL—Travelers of the Tri-Island ferry linking Malcolm Island and Cormorant Island with Port McNeill will be without the services of the Quadra Queen II for a month while final upgrades to the Port McNeill ferry dock are completed.

Work has been going on at the dock throughout the summer, but the final stages of the ramp and dock upgrades will require the facility be shut down between Oct. 1 and Oct. 28.

During that time no automobile ferrying will be available. Passengers will be shuttled between communities via water taxi, while a barge will handle the hauling of cargo between Port McNeill, Alert Bay and Sointula.

Parking will be made available in several locations in Port McNeill for those Alert Bay and Sointula residents who wish to leave their vehicles on Vancouver Island for the duration of the service disruption. Parking is free, but users must obtain and display a permit, available for pick-up at the BC Ferries ticket booth in Port McNeill. The lots will be patrolled and unauthorized vehicles ticketed.

A limited number of handicap parking spots will be made available in the lot closest to the water taxi dock, which is located just below the Port McNeill Harbour pay parking lot.

Parking became available yesterday, and will continue through Nov. 3.

Alert Bay residents have been through this drill before, as their own BC Ferries dock underwent upgrades throughout April of 2013.

“Last year there was a last-minute rush (to get cars off Cormorant Island),” said Jo Mrozewski, the Alert Bay representative on the Tri-Island Ferries Commission. “Where it’s going to get fun this year is, on the last day of the ferry, the second-last run is a dangerous cargo day. So the word we’re trying to get out is, don’t wait until the last minute.”

No vehicles are allowed on the ferry deck during dangerous cargo sailings, and the 5:55 p.m. departure from Alert Bay next Tuesday falls under that restriction.

Tickets for the water taxi service are available through the regular BC Ferries ticket booth in Port McNeill. Load-on will take place at the harbour dock in Port McNeill, at Sointula Harbour in Sointula, and at the Government Dock in Alert Bay, just below the RCMP station.

In the event of inclement weather or wave conditions the water taxi landing could be moved to the marina behind the breakwater in Alert Bay, located next to the BC Ferries dock.

“The Government dock worked well last year, but that was in April,” Mrozewski said. “This time it’s October and, given the possibility of bad weather, we’re keeping the breakwater as an option.”

A temporary barge-loading dock was installed in Alert Bay during last year’s service disruption, but some vehicles experienced clearance issues during loading and unloading, Mrozewski said. This summer, the Village of Alert Bay and the ‘Namgis Band have joined forces to construct a $30,000 barge dock near the end of the marina. It will remain in place after full ferry service is restored.

Cargo transiting from Port McNeill to Sointula will be barged to Alert Bay, then transferred to the Quadra Queen II and delivered to the BC Ferries dock on Malcolm Island.

 

 

 

Just Posted

Cafe Guido manager spills the beans on new coffee shop drive-thru

“The core drink menu is the same, but there will be new drinks - new cold drinks and new food”

Arrest made in Port Alice mail bomb incident

A 73 year old resident of Whitehorse, Yukon, was arrested on September 13th and remains in custody.

Municipal spending outpaces population growth 4-fold in B.C.: report

Canadian Federation of Independent Business has released its annual operational spending report

Three mayoral races in the North Island

Elections BC has finalized their nomination list for municipal, local elections for… Continue reading

Port Hardy resident furious over smart meter installation

“They came into my house without consent and it wasn’t even a BC Hydro employee.”

B.C. tent city ‘devastated’ after flash flood

Maple Ridge mayor says that residents shouldn’t have to return to their flooded tents

Volunteer crew ready to build ramps for B.C. amputee

Jean Moulton will soon have an easier time getting in and out of her home.

VIDEO: B.C. tour offers unique underground glimpse of generating station

About 1,250 people expected at sold-out tour on Sunday

Allegations against Kavanaugh pose test for #MeToo movement

Aside from the Ford-Kavanaugh showdown, this has been a tumultuous season for the #MeToo movement

Parents of B.C. toddler who died in unlicensed daycare sue over negligence

‘Baby Mac’ was only 16 months old when he died in a Vancouver daycare

Syrian family can, finally, feel safe after settling in B.C.

Anglican Church of the Holy Trinity White Rock meets sponsored family for the first time

1st private moon flight passenger to invite creative guests

The Big Falcon Rocket is scheduled to make the trip in 2023, SpaceX founder Elon Musk announced at an event Monday at its headquarters near Los Angeles.

‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Mrs. Maisel’ triumph at Emmys

In a ceremony that started out congratulating TV academy voters for the most historically diverse field of nominees yet, the early awards all went solely to whites.

Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang for potentially tough talks

South Korean President Moon Jae-in began his third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday.

Most Read