People travelling between Victoria and Washington state by ferry will soon experience a new secure modern pre-clearance terminal as construction moves forward for the Belleville Terminal Redevelopment Project.

The contract for the construction of Phase I of the Steamship Temporary Terminal has been awarded to Willow Spring Construction Ltd. Early work on the terminal begins immediately, with estimated completion in fall 2024.

The contract for Phase I wharf modifications has been awarded to Pacific Industrial & Marine Ltd. Offsite work on the wharf is about to begin near Cowichan Bay. Wharf work at the terminal is expected to begin this summer.

“This terminal represents a critical trade junction for our region and the country as a whole,” said Rob Fleming, B.C. Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Moving forward with this project to transform it into an improved, modern entry point will not only generate economic growth on both sides of the border, it will make travel more convenient and enjoyable for the people travelling through this hub every year.”

The project is also advancing toward the Phase II permanent upgrades to the terminal. The shortlisted proponents invited to participate in a request for proposal include EllisDon Corporation, KL Belleville Terminal Partners and Pomerleau Inc.

“We are proud to see the next phase of this project, which is integral to the future of trade, travel and tourism in Victoria, roll out,” said Sean Fraser, federal minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities. “The Belleville terminal redevelopment will respect modern safety and security standards, while facilitating the movement of both goods and people into the heart of Victoria’s inner harbour. We will continue supporting projects, such as this one, that will strengthen our economy for decades to come.”

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The upgrade brings the terminal into compliance with the Canada-U.S. Land, Rail, Marine and Air Transport Pre-clearance Agreement, and will streamline travel by allowing passengers to complete the customs and immigration process in Victoria prior to disembarking in the U.S.

“We are thrilled to see this project advancing as the redevelopment of the terminal has been our number 1 priority for the last three decades,” said Paul Nursey, CEO of Destination Greater Victoria. “This is an act of future-proofing our region, our businesses and our relationships with visitors from the U.S., and it keeps Greater Victoria looking like the remarkable destination it truly is.”

The project is expected to be complete in time for the 2028 tourism season, with a budget of $303.9 million and a $41.6-million federal contribution.

The Province is working collaboratively with the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations to identify opportunities to showcase the cultural and geographical significance of the project’s location and welcome visitors into Lekwungen territory.

Featured image: (B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

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