Feds extend Johnson Street Bridge funding deadline

The federal government extended its $37.5 million funding deadline until March 2018

The federal government has approved an extension of funding for the Johnson Street Bridge until March 2018.

The previous deadline for the federal government’s $37.5 million contribution – $21 million through Build Canada and $16.5 million through Canada’s Gas Tax Fund – was March 2017.

The total budget for the bridge, $94.3 million, will likely increase over time, said project director Jonathan Huggett.

Despite a recommendation from city staff to increase the budget by $4.8 million, council chose to approve a $1.5 million increase in order to keep a closer watch on the budget.

“The message that was clearly given to me at council was that council want to be more actively involved in the approval of funds for the project,” said Huggett. “So we’ll be coming back to them probably on a number of occasions to deal with very specific issues around where additional funding is required.”

He said the $1.5 million will keep the project going for the next few months before he will have to return to council to seek approval for more funds.