Traffic was heavily backed up along some of the Arrow Lakes ferry routes over the weekend. Photo: Joanne Cowan

Traffic finally eases along Arrow Lakes ferry routes

Motorists were stuck for up to six hours in ferry lineups over the weekend

Traffic along Arrow Lakes ferry routes has finally eased after flooding temporarily shut down Highway 1 west of Revelstoke on Thursday, July 2.

The flooding forced motorists to wait for several hours on the Upper Arrow Lakes and Needles Cable ferry routes on Friday, July 3.

“Traffic from the road closure didn’t clear until around 9 p.m. on July 3, which is when we finally when we were able to get everybody where they needed to go,” said Waterbridge Ferries marine manager Marinus Goossen.

“However, during the daylight hours on Saturday and Sunday, we were still faced with heavier volumes than usual.”

Road postings from DriveBC said motorists were still waiting between four to six hours to get on some ferry routes on July 4 and 5.

Crews also decided to operate the M.V. Columbia, the ferry on the Upper Arrow Lakes ferry route, overnight on July 2 to deal with the increase in traffic.

Another accident along Highway 6 over the weekend didn’t have a major impact on ferry traffic, according to Goossen.

“A commercial transport vehicle rolled over along the highway and temporarily shut it down,” said Goossen.

“However, it happened later in the night and everybody had already gotten to their final destinations. If it happened during the day, we would’ve had to turn people back up to the Columbia ferry or back towards Nelson.”

A decision by Transport Canada to only let the ferries operate at 50 per cent capacity during the COVID-19 crisis also posed some challenges for ferry crews, according to Goossen.

“We did see some challenges the Columbia Ferry over the weekend, particularly because of its deck size,” said Goossen.

“Since we constantly reached our 120-person passenger count, we weren’t able to take four-to-six cars on each sailing where we were at maximum capacity.”

You can view the wait times for each of the Arrow Lakes ferry routes by visiting DriveBC’s website.

READ MORE: Waterbridge invites Arrow Lakes ferry workers’ union to talks


@connortrembley
connor.trembley@castlegarnews.com

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