Construction workers lift one of the 290-tonne steel rings for the new Johnson Street Bridge at the Point Hope Shipyard using the giant crane the Dynamic Beast on Friday morning. The rings are being placed onto the barge and will begin to be installed at the new bridge site Saturday. (Lauren Boothby/VICTORIA NEWS)

Johnson Street Bridge’s steel rings, lower counterweight lifted into place over weekend

Victoria’s downtown bridge had been projected to look almost done by Christmas

By the end of the weekend, the new Johnson Street Bridge will start taking shape in its new home.

The Dynamic Beast, a giant crane capable of lifting over 800 metric tonnes, began lifting the 290-tonne steel rings on to the barge Friday morning at Point Hope Shipyard in Victoria West. Saturday morning, the crane will position itself under the existing bridge, closing off the waterway, and lift the lower counterweight into place, followed by the north ring. The south ring will be lifted and installed on Sunday before the crane barge heads back to Vancouver, and the crane will return in February to lift the main span where it will be bolted in place.

In October, project manager Jonathan Huggett, said the rings could be in place by Nov. 10 for the $105-million bridge. In August, he said the bridge would “look almost complete” by Christmas. The bridge is expected to be open to the public in March after many delays.

On Friday he said the public should plan to use alternative routes over the weekend, as the bridge will be inaccessible for several hours at a time. But putting these large steel components into place is a major step forward, something Huggett is excited to see.

“It’s a big visual step. For the first time, people are going to start seeing the pieces of the bridge in their final location,” he said. “It’s exciting: you train for this all your life, you put projects together like this, and it’s a high point in any engineer’s career to do this.”

MORE STORIES on the Johnson Street Bridge replacement

The process cannot be rushed, Huggett added.

“Nobody’s going to lift anything down here until they’re absolutely ready. All safety concerns are done, so they’ll wait their time to lift it properly.”

Such details as the angle of the steel parts, the location of each component on the barge, to the direction of workers pulling their ropes has been carefully calculated over the last five months.

“When you do major lifts in construction, you take enormous care,” Huggett said. “This whole thing is choreographed. They’ll make it look simple, because these guys are professionals. They know what they’re doing, but you don’t do it easily.”

Huggett has suggested Mermaid Wharf as the best spot for the public to watch the work take place over the weekend.

Updated lift schedule:

  • Saturday: 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. – crane barge will position itself under the existing bridge and lift the lower counterweight; 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – north ring lifted into place
  • Sunday: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – crane barge lifts south ring into place and departs

lauren.boothby@vicnews.com

Johnson Street bridge

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Construction workers lift one of the 290-tonne steel rings for the new Johnson Street Bridge at the Point Hope Shipyard using the giant crane the Dynamic Beast on Friday morning. The rings are being placed onto the barge and will begin to be installed at the new bridge site Saturday. (Lauren Boothby/VICTORIA NEWS)

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Undercover operation exposes prominent human trafficking problem in Greater Victoria

VicPD’s Operation No More took place in mid-June at a local hotel

Victoria man in custody after shooting in 100-block of Gorge Road East

The man is facing recommended charges including assault with a weapon

Langford approves permit for 124-unit mass timber building

Tallwood 1 to be completed by late 2021

Book stores in Victoria notice uptick in sales for anti-racism titles

White Fragility, How to be an Antiracist are among the best selling titles

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Tsilhqot’in Nation demands meeting with feds on declining Fraser River chinook stocks

The Nation wants to partner with DFO to rebuild and recover the stocks

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

‘A little bit scary for everybody’: Air passengers wary as new rules take effect

Masks or face coverings have been mandatory on flights since April 20

VIDEO: Prince William and Kate chat with B.C. hospital staff about COVID-19

Seven-minute video posted to Youtube on Canada Day

River centre says heavy rains could bring flooding to central, northeastern B.C.

Water levels are already unusually high and river banks can be extremely unstable

Campbell River’s defunct cruise ship terminal to undergo evaluation for future plans

With no cruise ship coming through, the $16million terminal has been a white elephant for over 13 years

Most Read