Johnson Street Bridge work to cause traffic delays, stoppages


Traffic will be slowed and occasionally stopped entirely as work picks up on construction of the new Johnson Street Bridge and its road approaches.

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Delays will begin Monday to allow for paving near the bridge. In November, there will be stoppages of both marine and land traffic so that giant steel spans can be lifted into place.

Marine traffic under the bridge will have to be stopped for at least a week in November as a 1,200-tonne-capacity crane is brought in to lift the steel spans, project director Jonathan Huggett said Thursday.

“The barge carrying the crane will be positioned under the existing bridge and the new bridge, and will completely block that area. And there will be no road traffic across the Johnson Street Bridge or marine traffic,” Huggett told Victoria councillors.

During that period, the existing bridge will be closed for at least an hour or two daily, but “won’t be closed for more than a few days to vehicle traffic,” city staff said.

From Monday until Aug. 12, drivers and cyclists can expect congestion in the area as there will be periodic lane closures between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to allow for paving preparations.

The existing bridge and approaches will close to motor traffic on Aug. 13 from 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. while paving takes place between Wharf Street and the new bridge. Pedestrians and cyclists will still have access.

The first shipment of steel for the new bridge has been loaded onto a barge in China and is expected to arrive in Victoria by late August. It will be shipped across the Pacific from Shanghai — a crossing expected to take about 25 days.

Parts being shipped include the north and south rings (which weigh about 350 tons each), the lower counterweight and the temporary structure, also called the falsework, used to support the components of the bridge as they’re pieced together.

The components are part of a system that allows the bridge to be raised so tall vessels can pass.

The main bridge structures are being constructed at JingJiang. The span-support structures that connect the main bridge to the machinery that moves the bridge are being fabricated in Tianjin.

Steel components will be offloaded at Ogden Point or Fraser Surrey Docks, depending on Victoria’s cruise ship schedule. They will then be taken to Point Hope Shipyard to be cleaned and inspected for damage.

The span-support structure is almost complete. Segments of the structure, smaller than the rings or counterweight, will be delivered in a shipping container.

A second shipment is expected to leave China in September and arrive in October.

Once the span-support structure arrives at Point Hope Shipyard, United Engineering will attach it to the other components.

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