Meteghan River shipyard building fourth ferry for Halifax-Dartmouth service

John DeMings
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Work is well underway at Meteghan River where a new ferry  is being constructed for Halifax-Dartmouth.

A.F. Theriault & Son Ltd., won the $4.16 million contract earlier this year and anticipates an April 1 delivery of the new passenger ferry—the fourth for Metro Transit’s cross-harbour service.

The 79-foot ferry will permit Metro Transit to double the peak hour service and add new off peak service on the Woodside route. The service improvements cannot be achieved with three existing vessels.

Gilles Theriault, general manager of the Meteghan River boatyard, emphasized last week that the project is important to southwestern Nova Scotia.

“We are proud to be building this ferry here, keeping jobs in Nova Scotia and workers in rural Nova Scotia. The project includes work for all the trades—welding, fitters, plumbers, carpenters and electrical workers,” he said.

This is the first time A.F. Theriault & Son Ltd. has built a ferry for the Halifax Regional Municipality, but there may be more in the future. The previous ferries in Halifax are approaching the end of their economic lifespan, according to HRM council information.

I’m proud to be building this ferry here, keeping jobs in Nova Scotia and workers in rural Nova Scotia Gilles Theriault, general manager

Two of the existing ferries were constructed in 1978 and the newest was built in 1986. This fourth ferry is viewed as the initial step in a new build program. HRM has $4.9 million remaining in ferry reserve fund, enough for another boat.

Drawings and engineering for the ferry now under construction were done by E.Y.E Marine Consultants, who also designed and managed construction at Pictou Industries Ltd. of the previous three vessels.

A.F. Theriault & Son Ltd. is one of the largest private boatyards in Atlantic Canada, and since 1938 has built over 600 vessels of up to 150 feet.

Organizations: Halifax Regional Municipality, HRM council, Pictou Industries

Geographic location: Meteghan River, Nova Scotia, Atlantic Canada

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Recent comments

  • Almont Baltzer
    February 25, 2014 - 18:30

    I was employed on the dartmouth Ferries from 1972 until 1993. I started out as Deckhand Engineer then First Mate then in 1979 was promoted to Captain. Therefore I was Captain on the old wooden boats and until the ferry service aligmated with HRM.

  • Leeland Lawson
    January 20, 2014 - 14:46

    Do you happen to have a photo of the current Halifax/Dartmouth ferry operating, in dry docks, so that the bottom is visible? My son is interested. Also, I would like the make and/or model number of the current ferry if possible. Thank you.