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Crossing Fraser River on a free ferry.

In the vast interior of British Columbia, where bridges are scarce, ferries are a vital transportation link. Many are extensions of farm-to-market roads or connections between highways, a reminder of a past that's almost disappeared farther south.

Some ferries are operated by cables, others by diesel or propane. Here we list four free ferries that cross the Fraser River close to a major highway If you're passing through, each is a small adventure in itself. We list them from south to north.

East of Vancouver. The Barnston Island ferry runs across Parsons Channel between Barnston Island and Port Kells; operating 18 hours daily, it takes three cars and 20 passengers on the 5-minute trip. Summon the ferry with your car horn. The landing is about 5 miles east of New Westminster (about 20 miles cast of Vancouver) off the Trans-Canada Highway.

Fort Langley to Albion. A 10-minute trip connects Fort Langley to the Lougheed Highway (Provincial 7) on the river's north shore; two ferries run 20 hours a day, carrying 26 cars and up to a hundred passengers. These were the first ferries in Canada to be powered by propane gas. Lytton. A 56-foot cable ferry with steel pontoons crosses the river 1 1/2 miles north of

Lytton to connect the Trans-Canada Highway with Provincial Highway 12; it takes 5 minutes to cross and operates 6 A.M. to 10 Pm. daily The ferry's capacity is two cars and 20 passengers. North of Williams Lake. Also a cable ferry, the one at Marguerite crosses 34 miles north of Williams Lake to join a secondary road paralleling the Cariboo Highway (Provincial 97) on the Fraser's west bank; it takes 5 minutes to cross and runs 7 A.M. to 7 Pm. between April and October, depending on the water level. Its capacity is two cars and 12 foot passengers.
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Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:British Columbia
Publication:Sunset
Date:May 1, 1989
Words:309
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