Picton's $360m ferry terminal to usher in 'new era'

Source: 1News

Construction began on Saturday on a $360 million project to redevelop Picton's Ferry Precinct that two allow the docking of two new Interislander ferries due in 2025.

Local MPs, mayor, councillors and other guests came together to celebrate the start of enabling works for the new terminal.

The redevelopment is part of a wider $1.45 billion project to replace Interislander’s three ageing vessels with two, larger rail-enabled ferries, which also include a new ferry terminal in Kaiwharawhara, Wellington.

READ MORE: 2 electric ferries coming to Auckland by 2024

The funding is done in partnership between KiwiRail, Port Marlborough, Marlborough District Council and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, with the Government contributing $435 million to the ferry replacement project.

“Our plan is to work with our partners and the community to create something really special,” said KiwiRail’s Programme Director Stephen O’Keefe.

“The new terminal precinct and wharf we are building are crucial for the operations of our two new ferries, which are currently being built in Korea. Not only will they have a greater capacity to move people, vehicles and freight across the Cook Strait, they will do so using low-emissions technology and minimise wake disruption in the Marlborough Sounds.”

Port Marlborough CE Rhys Welbourn, said the project was a "once in a generation” opportunity for the region.

“The project also adds much-needed resilience to New Zealand’s north-south connection and delivers environmental benefits in terms of decarbonisation.”

The two new ferries are expected to cut Interislander’s emissions by 40%.

The Waitohi Picton terminal build includes a new terminal building, wharf, landscaped grounds and waterfront and will improve connections between the ferry precinct and town centre.

Work on the terminal building, wharves and surrounds begins in early 2023, the new ferries are expected to arrive in 2025 and 2026.