The process to undergo a complete overhaul, rebuild, and expansion of BC Ferries’ Horseshoe Bay terminal is entering its public consultation phase.
A major retrofit of the ferry terminal in West Vancouver is envisioned as its equipment and facilities do not meet the latest standards and are inefficient, resulting in limited operational flexibility during peak periods.
The ferry corporation says the online engagement will run from now until the end of the month, and architects will use the feedback provided to create the design concepts for the terminal.
Preliminary potential design options will be released later this summer, with the overall design process expected to take between two and four years. Construction on the new terminal will begin immediately after this process.
BC Ferries previously told Daily Hive the terminal reconstruction project is expected to cost up to $250 million.
“The challenges we face at Horseshoe Bay include aged infrastructure and traffic congestion (both in the terminal and with the three berths),” said spokesperson Deborah Marshall.
“The terminal is operating overcapacity and we need to make more efficient use of the space within our current footprint. Horseshoe Bay terminal, with its three berths, actually provides more sailings per day than Tsawwassen terminal, with its five berths.”
Horseshoe Bay terminal is served by ferry routes to Nanaimo, the Sunshine Coast, and Bowen Island. It is the ferry corporation’s third-largest ferry terminal, behind Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay.
Over the coming decade, BC Ferries estimates it will need to spend a total of $500 million on retrofits of terminals that serve major routes, especially Horseshoe Bay, Swartz Bay, and Tsawwassen.
There has been a surge in ridership on the ferry network over the past few years. In the last fiscal year, BC Ferries recorded 8.3 million vehicles and 21 million passengers – levels that have not been seen in about a decade. These figures are also 6.6% and 9.2% higher than the slump in 2014.
Late last year, the provincial government released the findings of a study on a potential fixed link – a bridge or overland route – from the Sea to Sky Highway to the Sunshine Coast. The study deemed such an endeavour with a price of between $2.1 billion and $4.4 billion to be financially and economically unfeasible.