Snug Cove dock faces 8-week closure

by Carla Berkun

(The Bowen Island Undercurrent, November 5th 1999, p1: with permission)

The Snug Cove ferry dock will be closed for upwards of eight weeks early in the new year to allow construction of new wing walls, also known as ‘dolphins’. BC Ferries announced the upcoming closure, expected to begin in February, at a ferry task force meeting on October 27.

Apparently the 35-year-old wing walls, used to steady the ferry while docked, are rotting and in dire need of repair. Should the ferry bump one with any force there is a chance it could come crashing down. The corporation also plans to replace the head frame, which they say is the key reason why the Cap can't run on schedule during very high tides.

BC Ferries spokesman Ross Harris says the plans won't be approved by the corporation executives until an alternative plan is developed. A plan is expected to be ready for presentation by the end of the week, Harris says.

Harris says the chief goal for the plan is to minimize the impact on car customers. He says they are also looking at options to address the impact on the community—including the foot passengers serviced each weekday morning. The plan will also address the needs of people with disabilities, and the transport of commercial goods and fuels.

Communications director Nancy Cameron says the corporation wants to keep the community up to date on the dock issue.

How has the corporation handled dock repairs in other ferry-dependent communities? The dock at Nanaimo harbour, which services the route to and from Gabriola Island, closed for repairs about two years ago. Cameron says in this instance an alternative wharf was used.

Ferry Task Force members figure a temporary vessel will dock on the government wharf. F.T.F. member Jeffrey Scouten says disruption to commercial and regular vehicle service is a certainty.

Page last updated 99-11-06