When Victoria council voted to replace the aging Johnson Street Bridge in 2009, it seemed a much simpler task. Consultants told them it would cost between $35 million and $40 million and the bridge could be functional within four years.
Seven years since that fateful vote, the project has faced a series of obstacles, from sub-par steel production in China to legal claims against the city. The bridge’s complex design, likened to Swiss clockwork, has helped boost costs beyond the $105-million mark and costs promise to keep climbing.
But, finally, an end is in sight.
Work is underway at the construction site next to the Blue Bridge. It still requires imagination, but there are hints of what will be — from the groundwork for a pedestrian and cycling path to the equalizer that will cradle the large steel rings used to raise and lower the bridge to allow marine traffic to pass through.
If all goes well, the bridge is expected to open to car traffic by the end of 2017.
The bridge so far
• Welding of the north and south trusses have been completed. Some final fabrication will be completed during trial assembly in China.
• The north and south rings are nearing completion. On the north ring, welding is near completion and testing of the outer web welds is ongoing. Welding of the south ring will be completed during the next month.
• The various sections of the orthropic steel deck are being assembled and welded together.
• The outriggers to support the various walkways are under fabrication.
• Trial painting will begin shortly to ensure the painting process meets the required standards.
• The next key steps involve trial assembly of key components in China prior to final acceptance.
• The city anticipates that shipping of the two rings will take place by year end.
Source: City of Victoria