2020-11-04

New Tancook ferry coming, landing area moving out of Chester

by Keith Corcoran

  • <p>SOURCE: TWITTER/NS_TIR</p><p>The William G. Ernst, pictured in 2015.</p>

The foot-passenger ferry that crosses between Nova Scotia's mainland and Little and Big Tancook Islands is being replaced to accommodate vehicles, but the vessel's arrival/departure spot will move away from Chester.

The future landing spot will be in Blandford, roughly 25 kilometres southeast of the village, to make room for the new car ferry, something Chester can't accommodate, the province said in a statement.

On November 4, government announced $10 million in spending toward a new 18-vehicle vessel that will take-over from the nearly 40-year-old William G. Ernst. Ottawa and the province are evenly cost-sharing the project.

"The new vessel will provide shorter, more frequent trips and allow transport trucks and emergency response vehicles to access the islands," the province said in a statement.

The Tancook islands are home to about 200 people.

"Travel time on the new route will drop from 50 to 30 minutes," the province said. "The number of daily crossings will increase from four to about 11."

Construction of the new ferry starts this winter, the province announced, and should be finished by Spring 2022.

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