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Victoria attempts to get $92.8-million bridge project back on track

The City of Victoria has begun making internal operational changes to the $92.8-million Johnson Street Bridge replacement project after an independent review last month questioned its viability.

Consultant Jonathan Huggett, who has since been named interim project director, put forth eight recommendations to fix the project.

Mayor Dean Fortin said the city is already putting them into place, in hopes the project can still finish on time and on budget.

“We were surprised to hear what Huggett had to say,” said Fortin, “but we’re grateful the review came early. We still have time to take corrective measures.”

Among the recommendations are a change in leadership, which the review most heavily criticized. The report also found cooperation between the city and their various contractors was lacking.

Along with the city appointing Huggett as project director, PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc. and MMM Group have also replaced their leadership in an attempt to repair the strained relationships among each other.

The city has also hired a third party to supervise the contractors’ inspection of steel fabrication, much of which is currently taking place in China.

A change order submitted by PCL, which calls for an additional $7.8 million and 5.5 months to complete the project is currently under review.

“We’re not sure how long the review process is going to take,” Fortin said. “We don’t want to rush it, we want to make sure the job gets done well.”

The new bridge is expected to open in early 2016.

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