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.

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.

 

 

Just Posted

Victoria councillors begin to declare electoral intentions

Alto, Young follow their mayor in stating they will run again this fall

Island Health, service providers meeting to talk about used needles in Victoria

Recent public needle-prick incidents prompt call to reduce number of needles found

Dozens rally outside Premier’s office for sick Sooke boy

Six-year-old Landen Lanthier needs $19,000 a month to treat rare form of arthritis

Announcement for Sooke Road improvement expected this week

Premier promising ‘preliminary’ work, with more on the way

Rumble in the Vale: Strawberry Vale homeowners hang banner protesting construction noise, rumbling

Banner reading ‘Do you hear what we hear?’ hangs over Colwood Crawl

The 38th annual New Year Classic saw 172 players in 226 matches

New lights in Oak Bay tennis bubble illuminate local talent

Saanich signals support for in-fill developments in Gorge-Tillicum

The Gorge-Tillicum neighbourhood continues to experience infill. Council’s committee-of-the-whole signaled Saanich’s support… Continue reading

Trump aces mental aptitude test designed by Canadian immigrant

“This is a good example, I think, that will be helpful to change views about immigration. And maybe for Mr. Trump himself to consider immigrants as contributors to advancing science, advancing our societies.”

Rival Koreas agree to form first unified Olympic team

The rival Koreas took major steps toward reducing their bitter animosity

Canada, U.S. lead call for sanctions against North Korea

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting in Vancouver to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh announces engagement

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh engaged to clothing designer Gurkiran Kaur

Hijab-cutting case highlights ethical issues with putting kids in spotlight

A Toronto police investigation has concluded a girl’s hijab was not cut by a scissors-wielding man as she walked to school

Change in politics, society on sexual misconduct ‘not fast enough,’ says Trudeau

Trudeau says society still lagging behind the systemic changes he is trying to make when it comes to preventing and responding to sexual harassment

Bank of Canada to make interest rate decision today

Economists widely believe that based on the economic environment, it’s likely interest rates will rise today

Most Read