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Work begins on $303.9M Belleville Terminal redevelopment

The first phase includes creation of a temporary terminal by modifying and expanding the wharf at the CPR Steamship building for the FRS Clipper

Work has begun on the first phase of the $303.9-million redevelopment of the Belleville Terminal, used by passengers travelling between Victoria and the U.S. via the FRS Clipper and Coho ferry.

The first phase includes creation of a temporary terminal by modifying and expanding the wharf at the CPR Steamship building for the FRS Clipper, which travels between downtown Victoria and downtown Seattle, and providing space for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in the CPR Steamship building.

A temporary covered walkway will be installed for Clipper passengers, running between the Black Ball Ferry Line building at 430 Belleville St. and the adjacent Steamship building.

Canada Border Services Agency operations will use the Black Ball building.

In the project’s second phase, the Clipper’s terminal infrastructure will be demolished and a new commercial goods processing facility will be constructed.

Clipper and Coho operations will be housed in a new terminal building, which will also hold the Canada Border Services Agency and U.S. Customs, and will be designed to move travellers through more efficiently.

Plans call for pre-­clearance facility where passengers would go through the required U.S. procedures in Victoria so that when they arrive in Washington state, they can leave the ferry terminal promptly.

Willow Spring Construction Ltd. of Surrey has started modifying the 1926 CPR Steamship Terminal building to add the temporary uses, with work on the first phase expected to wrap up this fall.

Pacific Industrial and Marine Ltd. of Duncan has been awarded the job of installing what amounts to a new wharf for the Clipper for the first phase. The structure will be built near Cowichan Bay and moved to Victoria this summer to complete the project.

During construction, pedestrian access will be closed on the causeway behind the Steamship building at 470 Belleville St. to provide room for a large temporary structure to be erected.

Clipper and Coho sailings will not be affected by the work, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said in a statement.

Paul Nursey, chief executive of Destination Greater Victoria, said Wednesday that the group is “thrilled” to see the project moving ahead, adding redevelopment of the terminal has been its number-one priority for the past three decades.

“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,” Nursey said.

The terminal represents a critical trade junction, said Transportation Minister Rob Fleming, and its transformation 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.”

Contracts have not yet been awarded for the second phase of the terminal project.

Companies shortlisted and invited to respond to a request for proposals for that work include EllisDon Corp., KL Belleville Terminal Partners and Pomerleau Inc., the ministry said.

The plan was announced by the province in September 2022. The federal government has promised to contribute at least $41.6 million for the project.

In 2019, the terminal accounted for about 2,200 jobs, handled more than 680,000 travellers and delivered significant tourism and economic benefits, the province said.

The terminal acts as an international gateway for goods, services and passengers, and drives regional and provincial economic growth, the ministry said. Travellers spend approximately $174 million per year, generating $268 million in economic output and $155 million in provincial gross domestic product.

“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.”

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.

The province is working with the ­Songhees and Esquimalt Nations to identify ­opportunities to showcase the cultural and ­geographical significance of the location, the province said.

To follow the Belleville ­Terminal redevelopment go to: bellevilleterminal

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