Terminal timeline dependent on rezoning

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Wednesday, October 17 2018

BC Ferries is saying it could be up to 18 months before they are ready for construction of a new terminal on Gabriola Island.

Darin Guenette, Communications Manager for BC Ferries, said the terminal development plan (TDP) - such as it is so far - can be found on the BC Ferries web site.

The current proposal for the Gabriola terminal; with the Taylor Bay traffic circle noted as being ‘optional’ for the plan. BC Ferries graphic

The proposal currently shows a multi-lane vehicle waiting area being constructed where the loading lane and medically-assured spaces currently are - as well as a reconfigured parking lot and a new passengers terminal.

But the plan for the actual construction of the terminal is still in it’s infancy.

Before Guenette said the project team is currently preparing documents that are required to officially file rezoning applications with Islands Trust. 

“The plan would be to start work as soon as the IT process is complete, but we don’t expect [construction] to happen in 2019.”

Asked for information on if there would be any time Gabriolans were without ferry service while the terminal upgrades took place, Guenette said, “there are no specifics about if/how the construction will affect regular service at this time. 

“I would think we are likely at least 6-12 months from starting to figure out a basic plan for the construction.”

He said more information will be forthcoming at this Friday’s meeting of the Gabriola Ferry Advisory Committee - ad on page 12 of this Sounder has details.

Guenette said the Gabriola and Nanaimo Harbour terminals are the two terminals at the top ‘Descanso and Nanaimo Harbour’ are the two terminals, “slated as a top priority for work to happen, as soon as TDP is done. But, construction depends on such things as zoning applications, and the Islands Trust process is expected to take 18 months or more.”