The Leif Erikson is pictured at the ramp in Port aux Basques in this file photo. Marine Atlantic's infrastructure and services will be revamped thanks to about $900 million in funding from the federal government. Transcontinental Media file photo
Marine Atlantic is planning two major projects to improve facilities at the Port aux Basques terminal to better serve customers.
President and CEO Paul Griffin outlined the projects, scheduled to begin this month, in a news release today.
They include the decommissioning and replacement of the aging gulfspan dock and renovation and upgrading of the terminal building.
When completed, the renewed docking infrastructure will provide operational flexibility and improve the efficiency of loading and offloading of vessels, ensuring continued safe, reliable service.
Marine Atlantic says the renovated Port aux Basques terminal will offer “much-needed upgrades and customer amenities including a commercial drivers’ seating lounge.”
Both projects are scheduled to be completed by spring 2013. These latest projects are in addition to other projects, including the expansion of the drop trailer yard, construction of a new salt shed and checker’s building and an upgraded fueling system.
The total investment of the Port aux Basques projects is estimated at $30 million.
Steven Fletcher, minister of state (transport), said the federal government recognizes the importance of the ferry service for the regional economy. “These investments in the Port aux Basques terminal will benefit the many customers and businesses that use it,” Fletcher said.
Griffin said these upgrades will help Marine Atlantic reach its goal of becoming a modern and efficient company offering a high level of customer service.
At the end of our five-year renewal process,” Griffin said, “all of our port facilities and vessels will have received significant upgrades. We are committed to our Port aux Basques, North Sydney and Argentia operations and will continue making investments that will provide the best service possible for our customers.”
Marine Atlantic says its project plan has been designed to minimize the impact on daily operations during the construction period. Although customers may experience construction zone activities, the terminal building will remain in operation and customers will be kept informed.
This upgrading is part of the federal government’s recent five-year investment in Marine Atlantic of $521 million through which infrastructure renewal is taking place at all of the corporation’s facilities.
Fleet renewal and integration, including the successful introduction of the MV Blue Puttees and MV Highlanders, was the first phase of this renewal.
The second phase is now focused on upgrading shore-based infrastructure at Marine Atlantic’s terminal properties.