BELLEISLE BAY (GNB) – Belleisle Bay will be the location of the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure’s new river ferry which is expected to be in service this fall. The announcement was made today at a community event.

“The Belleisle Bay ferry run is one of our busiest routes, with more than 320,000 passengers each year,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Bill Fraser. “Your government recognizes the importance of this transportation link to the community. The placement of the new ferry here is evidence of that.”

The new ferry, which is now under construction, will replace the F85 which will be transferred to the Kennebecasis Island run. In 2015, the Kennebecasis Island ferry was removed from service and, since then, service has been provided by a rental vessel at a cost of $750,000. The new ferry in Belleisle Bay will eliminate those rental costs.

“The new ferry will reinvigorate our fleet and improve transportation for those who rely on river ferries to get to work, school and everywhere else they need to go,” said Fraser.

The provincial government signed a contract valued at about $6.5 million with Ocean New Brunswick Inc. for the construction of the 15-car river ferry, which is being built at the naval centre in Bas-Caraquet.

Fraser also announced a contest to name the new ferry. Entrants can send their suggestions to the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure before March 12. The department will consult with the community and announce the winning entry on March 21.

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure’s $688.2 million capital budget reflects the government’s priority of investing strategically in its buildings, highways and bridges. Strategic investments in infrastructure are a key component of the multi-year New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan, the province’s framework for growing the economy and creating jobs.