Ferry refit plus dock repairs
From October 14, the ferry run between Horseshoe Bay and Snug Cove will be covered by the Bowen Queen as the Queen of Capilano will go for its annual refit until November 20.
Councillor and member of the Bowen Island Municipal Ferry Advisory Committee Alison Morse gave a short verbal presentation to council on Monday, October 9 and said, “BC Ferries confirmed that the Queen of Capilano’s DOT certification will be done at the same time.”
At this point, there is no date set for the Queen of Capilano’s conversion to LNG as had been under discussion last December but Darin Guenette, BC Ferries’ manager of public affairs, said that the corporation will continue considering the benefits of using LNG on its vessels. “For now, our primary focus is on ‘new builds’, as we could realize the benefits (cost savings) for the entire expected life of the vessel. As for conversion of current vessels from diesel to LNG, we will continue to consider the possibilities but do not have plans to convert any vessels at this time,” he said. Guenette added that the current analysis for the payback period for a conversion is 10 years and this length of time does not make LNG conversions financially viable for BC Ferries. If the business case changes, BC Ferries will consider the conversion of the Queen of Capilano during the mid-life refit in about two year’s time.
During the operation of the Bowen Queen, BC Ferries is offering $10 per 24 hour parking for Bowen residents in the Impark surface lot starting on October 13. To be eligible, Bowen Islanders need to obtain a resident parking pass from BC Ferries’ customer service desk behind the foot passenger ticket booths.
In addition to the ferry’s refit, BC Ferries plans improvements to the marine structures at Snug Cove terminal from November to February. A press release from BC Ferries states that “the work will involve an upgrade of one of the dolphins and the replacement of another.”
“The good news is that the 40-year old dolphin will be replaced,” Morse said. “Originally it had been indicated that all the work had to be done at night but now there is a good chance that most of the work can be done during the day by placing a barge between the wing wall and our dock.” Morse explained that the work will be finished before the heron nesting season starts.
BC Ferries estimates that some night work will be required to access the berth outside of normal sailing times and will be performed eight to 12 times throughout the project.
“The primary advantage to doing night work will be that normal ferry service between Bowen Island and Horseshoe Bay will not be affected,” the press release says. “The project work includes pile driving, drilling, welding, component installation and other miscellaneous construction. The type and level of noise will vary during these activities. The contractor will determine the exact schedule for night work, but weather and tidal conditions will be a critical factor in timing.”
BC Ferries will issue a service notice that outlines the expected date and times when night work is scheduled to give as much advance notice as is possible.