THE USK ferry has been returned to duty crossing the Skeena River following a refit over the winter.
Area road maintenance contractor Nechako Northcoast Construction handled the refit which began in January.
“The ferry was completely dismantled. The paint was stripped off and it was checked for stress cracks,” said acting district highways manager Randy Penner.
The last refit was approximately 12 years ago. One major portion of the refit this time was spraying foam, which then hardened, into the pontoon spaces, said Penner.
Inserting foam into pontoon spaces is now a Transport Canada regulation which increase the ferry’s stability.
The $250,000 refit included a new deck, new electrical work and new paint.
“With this refit it’ll be good for another 10-12 years,” said Penner.
The Usk ferry is known as a reaction ferry in that rudders are used to ensure that the pontoons are angled into the current, causing the force of the current to move the ferry across the river. The ferry is attached to an overhead cable strung between towers on either end of the river.