A unique perspective of the Johnson Street Bridge

The Johnson Street Bridge is like a giant building set to Jonathan Huggett.

Johnson Street Bridge project manager Jonathan Huggett shows off the recently-installed equalizer structure that will be used to help rotate the $105-million bridge once it’s complete in March 2018.

Johnson Street Bridge project manager Jonathan Huggett shows off the recently-installed equalizer structure that will be used to help rotate the $105-million bridge once it’s complete in March 2018.

The Johnson Street Bridge is like a giant building set to Jonathan Huggett.

For the past few years, the City of Victoria’s project director has been working feverishly on the $105-million bridge and the fruits of his labour are slowly coming to fruition.

On Thursday, Huggett led media, mayor and councillors on a tour of the foundation that is being laid for the moveable bridge.

Walking down several flights of stairs to where the foundation is being laid, two equalizer structures have been installed at the base of the bridge. Two hand-welded steel rings, which are being fabricated in China and are 50 feet in diameter, will sit on the equalizer structures and rotate the bridge, along with a hydraulic motor.

The rings are expected to arrive in Victoria by the end of the year, for installation in early 2017.

The foundation has also been laid for a pedestrian walkway and a combined pedestrian and cycling walkway on both sides of the bridge to allow people to move seamlessly from Vic West to the downtown core as well.

Welding of the north and south trusses are complete, outriggers to support the various walkways are under fabrication and various sections of the orthotrophic steel deck are being assembled and welded together.

“That’s why you become an engineer. Going back to the days when I was a kid and I had my building sets, this is my giant building set. I have a lot of fun doing it,” said Huggett, who also worked on the SkyTrain and re-decking of the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver.

“This bares no resemblance to a typical bridge. Everything else is very different . . . It’s not everyday you build a moving bridge of this complexity.”

One of the most unique aspects of the bridge is once it is complete, pedestrians will be able to walk underneath it and see the mechanics of the bridge, and walk out the other side.

“On a normal bridge there would be a centre shaft. We haven’t done that. This is innovative. One of the initial architects had this vision that shouldn’t the public see the machinery?” said Huggett, adding they’re currently looking at the safety aspects of having a walkway under the bridge.

“As an engineer, I like to excite kids. I think it’s neat when kids can see machinery and understand the world isn’t static.”

The bridge has been plagued with problems over the past year. In 2014, steel fabrication of the main bridge trusses and a large ring rotating mechanism was rejected. Last year, 75 cracked welds were detected on the steel deck surface. The defects were properly documented and repairs complete.

Mayor Lisa Helps, who was also on the tour, is excited the bridge is coming to a conclusion.

“I know it’s been a painful project for the city and for the public. But hopefully after it’s open that will fade,” she said. “At the end of the day, 20 years from now, people won’t be saying ‘oh no, we paid a lot of money for that bridge and it took a long time’. What they’ll be saying is ‘wow, look at this jewel which is in the jewel of the Inner Harbour’.”

The bridge is expected to be open to traffic by December 2017, with the project completed by March 31, 2018.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria’s property tax policy for 2021 will save business owners a little money. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Victoria gives businesses a tax break for 2021

Council decreases tax burden to support pandemic-hit merchants

The family of Iris McNeil, shown here with members of her family, has launched a petition to deny parole for the man who murdered McNeil in 1997. (Family photo)
Family fights killer’s release from Metchosin institution

Shortreed serving an indeterminate sentence at William Head Institution

Rendering of the floating market space that is part of one of the two proposals for the Turkey Head and Oak Bay Marina properties. (Courtesy District of Oak Bay)
Oak Bay Marina questionnaire nets hundreds of responses

Mayor Kevin Murdoch impressed by the quality, quantity of input on two proposals

Police are looking for the driver of this truck after it nearly hit a group of kids in Esquimalt on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of Victoria Police)
Victoria police looking for driver of truck that nearly missed kids before crashing in Esquimalt

The truck’s driver, a man, fled the scene after the truck crashed into a house’s fence

A driver stopped by Saanich police following a road rage incident on April 15 was found to be impaired, in violation of a license restriction and in a damaged vehicle. They received a 90-day driving prohibition and a 30-day vehicle impound. (Saanich Police Traffic Safety Unit/Twitter)
Driver stopped on Pat Bay Highway after road rage reports fails breathalyzer test: police

Several witnesses reported driver to Saanich police, school officer intercepted

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: Lookout Lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you have a plan in place in the event of a tsunami?

Tsunamis have claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people between 1998… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

The District of Sooke will continue to flower with Communities in Bloom. (Pixabay)
Sooke will bud but not bloom in provincial competition

Council scales back participation in Communities in Bloom

An armed officer walks outside Cerwydden Care on Cowichan Lake Road near Skinner Road Wednesday, April 14 around 5:30 p.m. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Officers surround building as homeowner held in apartment for nearly four hours by adult son

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Hwy. 4 was shut down in both directions for 10 hours on March 23 as a rock bluff was blasted as part of Kennedy Hill’s ongoing construction. Commuters can expect five more 10 hour closures on five consecutive Wednesdays beginning April 28. (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Five 10-hour Pacific Rim highway closures planned in the next 6 weeks

Closures needed for rock blasting as part of the Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement project.

Bulldogs forward Stephen Castagna flips the puck into the Clippers zone during a game on Oct. 24. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Island BCHL game postponed due to ‘potential positive’ COVID-19 test

Nanaimo Clippers team suspends activities, players isolating pending further test results

Most Read