Jonathan Huggett, project manager of the Johnson Street Bridge replacement, unveiled a Lessons Learned report about the project to council and the media last week. Tim Collins/Victoria News

Johnson Street Bridge delay may not be the last

Opening of bridge pushed back to March 31, 2018.

  • Jun. 16, 2017 11:05 a.m.

Tim Collins and Kendra Wong/Victoria News

Jonathan Huggett, the City of Victoria’s project manager for the Johnson Street bridge replacement, isn’t holding his breath that the latest deadline will be met by the contractor.

After advising city council that PCL has again pushed back the completion date for the bridge by three and a half months to March 31, 2018, he admitted there are no guarantees on that promise.

“Will PCL hit that deadline? I’m not by any means certain about it. I’ve lived through several dates now that PCL has failed to achieve,” he said.

“The delays are the fault of PCL. They are required to deliver the project to the required specifications and on time, so as far as we are concerned, this is PCL’s responsibility.”

The latest problems occurred in China, where the steel for the project was purchased and where the bridge components are being fabricated. Huggett explained that, during a horizontal fit-up of the pieces, it took considerably longer than anticipated to machine the components to ensure they matched properly.

When Victoria’s inspectors finally signed off on the pieces, it was time for a vertical fit-up, in which the process was repeated in a configuration that matched the way the bridge would look once installed. At that time the tolerances were once again found to be off.

By the time PCL were able to correct those problems, it was well into March.

Other issues came about when corrosion problems, causing pitting, were identified in steel being used in the construction. ZTSS, the Chinese company contracted to produce and fabricate the steel worked to address those problems as well.

“The actual responsibility to deal with ZTSS clearly lies with PCL. They selected ZTSS for the work and resolving these issues falls squarely on PCL’s shoulders. We will not accept that bridge for shipment until we are satisfied with it,” said Huggett.

Councillors voiced frustration over the continued delays.

Coun. Marianne Alto questioned the reliability of promises to complete the project in a specified time frame.

Coun. Ben Isitt added that the delays further reinforce the need for council to take a second look at assigning capital projects to city engineers, instead of contracting the work out.

“A key lesson I’m taking from this is we have to consider our local government for taking on the role of general contractor,” he said. “The fact is, our city manager had identified gaps and to protect the interests of the taxpayers, they almost have to take this micro-management approach. That shows the contracted model has failed.”

The cost of the bridge replacement is now pegged at $105 million. Huggett noted the original contract price to PCL was $62.8 million, but that didn’t include $34 million paid to MMM Group, the engineering firm contracted as part of the project.

The current budget for the project also does not include the installation of fenders for piers, and other steel parts required. Huggett said he was not going to rush the estimates for that portion of the project, although he expects to appear before council in the next month or two to present cost estimates for that work.

editor@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

UPDATE: Woman hit by car in parking lot 93 years old

Driver of sedan backs into older adult walking through lot

Stolen West Shore vehicle found in ocean off Oak Bay

SUV was submerged 90 feet from shore at Cattle Point

Delivery truck downs power lines in Sidney

A tractor trailer delivering eggs clipped a low-hanging wire on Second St.… Continue reading

Deadly mushroom spotted in Greater Victoria

Early return of death cap mushrooms prompts Island Health warning

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Saanich Police investigate store robbery

Store video captures image of suspect

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 17

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

Car calls 911 on possible impaired B.C. driver

A luxury car automatically calls Princeton police to scene of crash involving alcohol

BC Games marks 40 years in 2018

Cowichan Games a milestone for BC Games Society

Most Read