Johnson Street Bridge back on track

An army of welders is working on the parts needed for the new Johnson Street Bridge, which could have traffic rolling across in July 2017.

An army of welders is working on the parts needed for the new Johnson Street Bridge, which could have traffic rolling across in July 2017 rather than early 2018.

Last November, council was given the disappointing news that completion of the project had slipped to early 2018 due to steal fabrication problems in China. In response, council put down its foot and asked PCL (the contractor) to revise the project schedule to complete the bridge by the fall of 2017.

On Thursday, project manager Jonathan Huggett told council the city has been working closely with PCL to revise the schedule and the bridge should now be open to traffic in July 2017. The whole project is anticipated to wrap up later that year.

According to Huggett, the critical elements for sticking to the schedule are the ring structures (being fabricated in China), which are 50 feet in diameter and have to be perfectly circular. The structures are slated to arrive in Victoria by the end of the year.

“The fabrication of those rings is totally front and centre of my mind,” said Huggett, noting it will likely take two months of welding to make the ring structures. “You can imagine we have an army of welders on this project.”

The concrete roadway bridge decks are now complete, along with areas west of Harbour and Esquimalt roads. The focus is now shifting to the installation of some of the major machinery that opens and closes the bridge, which is being made by a company in Alabama.

“This (machining) is a very significant fabrication and this is key to the whole thing,” said Huggett. “If this is wrong, then we’re going to have problems opening and closing the bridge.”

Designs are also being finalized for the pedestrian overpass.

The bridge has been plagued by problems both structurally and financially.

In 2014, steel fabrication of the main bridge trusses and a large ring rotating mechanism was rejected, and most recently, 75 cracked welds were detected on the steel deck surface, pushing the arrival of the steel to the end of 2016.

The budget for the bridge is $96.854 million. As of Dec. 31, the budget had already reached $65.001 million and a number of unresolved issues remain that will require further additional funding.

The bridge was originally approved in 2009 with a total cost of roughly $63 million and was supposed to be in use by September of this year.

 

 

Just Posted

Federal government actions hurt Sooke hatchery fundraising efforts

Funding denial comes on the heels of fishing closures

SD62 student places third in province-wide French competition

12-year-old Sasha Zandieh won third with a speech on poet Pablo Neruda

Island athlete goes from hoop dreams to icy track

Cyrus Gray hopes to punch his ticket to Olympics in bobsleigh

Jesse Roper learns to create fire in the wild, in Sacred Knowledge web series

Ragnarock Studios production shares primitive skills with Islanders

Oak Bay researcher’s Canadian English dictionary goes to print

How an unknown American hobbyist sparked a Canadian dictionary

Police release photos of suspect in daytime sex assault at Vancouver woman’s home

A young woman, in hers 20s, was followed home by the man, before he violently attacked her inside

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Most Read