Johnson Street Bridge costs expected to climb

The cost of the Johnson Street Bridge is expected to go up before its completion, but by how much, officials are still uncertain.

The cost of the Johnson Street Bridge is expected to go up before its completion later this year, but by how much, officials are still uncertain of.

Project manager Jonathan Hugget recently told city council the cost of fendering on the north side and public realm amenities are not included in the bridge’s current $105 million budget.

Fendering is installed on both sides of the bridge to protect it from impact, should a vessel gently bounce off or graze it while coming in or leaving the Inner Harbour. While in channel fendering on the south side is already being constructed, design and cost estimates for the north side fendering could not be completed for the $1.5 million that PCL originally projected in its bid.

Since then, MMM Group has been preparing design concepts for the fendering, but to speculate on the overall cost would be “irresponsible,” Hugget said, during an update to council Thursday.

Construction on the project is moving along. In the winter, crews completed a horizontal fit up of the south ring and south truss, to ensure all the components fit togther. Currently, crews are completing a vertical fit up in China where the bridge is being assembled. A dimensional check and inspection are carried out, before it is taken apart, painted and shipped to Victoria.

The span support elements (the bridge machinery component that attaches to the structural steel on which the bridge opens) has also been fabricated.

Hugget believes as long as all the pieces fit together perfectly, the bridge will be open to traffic in December, as expected.

The area around the bridge is coming together as well. Work on the Janion Plaza is underway and is expected to be completed by the end of the month, while a new sidewalk on the south west corner of Harbour and Esquimalt roads has opened to the public.

The bridge is expected to be open to traffic in December. Staff will bring a report to council on the costs for public realm designs next month.