Ferry terminal upgrades on track

Carla Allen
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Renovations and upgrades to Yarmouth’s outdated ferry terminal are on target for the May 15 start of the new service.

“May 1 is the deadline we have been working towards,” says Greg Shay, acting manager for the Yarmouth Area Industrial Commission. “We’re in good shape. We’ll be ready, despite the operator’s having asked for, and received, an extension.”

The federal government has committed $2.5 million for rehabilitation of the facility.

The Town of Yarmouth has appointed the commission as project manager for the work.

Renovations began in mid-December with FirstOnSite Restoration gutting, cleansing and providing environmental cleaning to the terminal and the customs’ annex building.

In early January, Garian Construction and Grave’s Mechanical  & Electrical, along with sub-contractors, began working on the project.

Shay says many of the changes are to comply with increased security requirements for Canada Border Services Agency.

“It makes it particularly challenging in this old facility because it was built in 1955,” he says.

Roof work has been done, along with reconstruction and refurbishment of the interiors, including ceilings, floors, walls, mechanical and ventilation work. Lighting and electrical wiring is being replaced. Heating will now be supplied via wall-mounted mini-split units instead of an archaic hot water boiler system.

The footprint of the terminal has been altered, with some walls removed and new ones erected to create a different flow pattern for passengers.

Nova Star Cruises will have an office in the terminal as well as space in another building on the property.

Some minor touch-ups and repairs to the wharf and fendering will be completed when weather allows.

“All of our technical drawings and design work tell us it’s (the ship’s off-loading ramp) is going to interface well with our wharf and our ramp,” says Shay.

Five booths for vehicular traffic will be installed on the south side of the building as well as an oversized booth for larger vehicles. Queuing and directional lines on pavement will freshly painted.

As for the exterior of the building, there will be new doors, and new windows to replace those that are broken.

Final stages of preparation include landscaping.

“I can’t say enough about the crews, starting with FirstOnSite, Garian and Graves,” says Shay. “They’ve done whatever they needed to do to work in some pretty miserable conditions to keep this project moving along.”

In two or three years, construction of a new state-of-the-art terminal is something the commission would like to see.

“One that is appropriately sized for the volume of traffic and for CBSA and Transport Canada requirements,” says Shay.  “But first we have to get some experience and see how the operator does.”




Organizations: Canada Border Services Agency, Yarmouth Area Industrial Commission, Transport Canada

Geographic location: Yarmouth

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