Funds have been approved by the federal and provincial government to replace the aging MV Balfour and update the Kootenay Bay and Balfour ferry terminals. (File photo)

Funds have been approved by the federal and provincial government to replace the aging MV Balfour and update the Kootenay Bay and Balfour ferry terminals. (File photo)

Funds approved for new Kootenay Lake ferry

The ferry will have almost twice the capacity of the current MV Balfour

Funds have been approved for a new ferry to replace the aging MV Balfour, which travels between the Balfour and Kootenay Bay terminals on Kootenay Lake.

Related: Province announces dredging and new vessel for Kootenay Lake Ferry

On Monday the federal Ministry of Infrastructure and Communities and the provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced a combined $54 million will be allocated towards the project.

The new ferry will have nearly twice the capacity of the Balfour, and be electric-ready. That means the vessel won’t operate on electricity, but will be ready for a conversion at a later date.

The funds will also go to upgrading the Balfour and Kootenay Bay terminals.

Improvements will include new washrooms, sheltered waiting areas, public parking spaces, and better terminal access for drivers on Highway 31 and 3A.

The new ferry is expected to set sail by 2022.