NORTH SYDNEY — Marine Atlantic has awarded contracts to two local companies for the construction of a new terminal building.
© TC Media file photo
The Marine Atlantic ferry terminal in North Sydney.
On Tuesday, Sydney-based Joneljim Construction was named as the company to carry out site preparation, while a proposed new terminal will be constructed by Roclan Construction of Sydney, a division of Dartmouth-based Dora Construction.
The cost of the project — including design, site preparation and construction — is estimated at $20 million.
Marine Atlantic officials say the new terminal will be built at a location on the opposite side of the marshalling yard from the existing terminal building, adjacent to downtown businesses.
According the federal ferry service, the terminal will be environmentally friendly and offer new amenities such as a commercial driver lounge area.
The new terminal is expected to be opened during the 2015-16 fiscal year.
“We look forward to working with these local contractors to build our new terminal building and continue our agenda of positive change at Marine Atlantic,” said Paul Griffin, Marine Atlantic president, in a press release. “We are excited with the opportunities that this new building will present and the improved level of customer service and amenities that will be available to our customers."
Dan Bunbury, chair of the North Sydney Business Improvement Development Association, said the group expects to meet with Marine Atlantic officials next week to discuss some construction elements of the new terminal.
Several businesses located near Marine Atlantic have expressed concern that the proposed terminal will be set too far back from their establishments, while others have voiced opposition to the proposed design of the terminal.
"We're finalizing the date and time of a meeting," said Bunbury. "Certainly Marine Atlantic's been very open to meeting with us."
The North Sydney terminal is the latest in a long list of infrastructure upgrades that have been ongoing at all three Marine Atlantic ports during the past 18 months.
Other North Sydney projects include the construction of a new stevedore building, renovations to the docks, upgrading and expanding the marshalling yard, and improving the electrical infrastructure system.
In October, a new administration and warehouse facility was also opened for the federal Crown corporation at 65 Memorial Dr.
The five-year investment is part of Ottawa's plan to better serve customers through fleet renewal, shore-based infrastructure renewal and business process change.
Marine Atlantic provides year-round service between North Sydney and Port aux Basques, N.L., and seasonally between North Sydney and Argentia, N.L.
It moved 354,103 passengers in 2012, along with 124,446 vehicles and 103,658 commercial vehicles. Since 2009, the commercial vehicle growth has been 11 per cent.