The City of Victoria will hear the latest design plans for the waterfront area near the Johnson Street Bridge. (File contributed/ City of Victoria)

Designs for Johnson Street Bridge waterfront areas hit delays

Upgrades to the Songhees Park, surrounding area being presented Thursday

The City of Victoria is set to hear the most up-to-date design plans for the waterfront area near the Johnson Street Bridge.

Since the new bridge opened in 2018, the city has continued to work on the surrounding areas, with plans to target six separate spots. So far the completed areas include the David Foster Harbour Pathway pedestrian underpass – which goes under the bridge near the Janion building – the Janion Plaza, which sits just south of the Janion building, and the Boulevard Landscaping, which is composed of the concrete divider and trees on Esquimalt Road.

Still underway are plans for Triangle Island (the space across from the Market Square buildings), the Songhees Park Expansion (on the southwest side of the bridge) and the Northern Junk Plaza (the space adjacent to Reeson Park).

READ MORE: City opens new pathway, observation decks at Johnson Street Bridge

According to a report put forward by Thomas Soulliere, director of parks, recreation and facilities, and Derrick Newman, assistant director of facilities management, the other areas face a few delays.

The Songhees Park Expansion’s completion was pushed from 2020 to the beginning of 2021 after consultations took more time than anticipated. The property sits on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen people, and consulting teams are making sure that designs respect the Songhees Nation, and meet the needs of the Accessibility Working Group and the Victoria West Neighbourhood Association.

Final designs include a wide canopy of trees, native plants, and play opportunities.

ALSO READ: Victoria votes to move downtown art installation from Bastion Square

Staff will also need to continue monitoring the area for archaeological finds, and come up with a plan for remediating contaminated soil in the area.

Triangle Island will soon be the stage of a public piece of art that was once seen in Bastion Square. Commerce Canoe was recently removed from the site and is currently being remediated before being installed at its new location.

ALSO READ: Property developer withdraws application for eight-storey downtown Victoria building

The Northern Junk Plaza upgrades are also on hold after a previous development proposal was dropped in October 2018. A new development permit will need to be issued before the city can devise and plans.

In total, the upgrades for all six areas totals $4.5 million.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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