Johnson Street rail bridge closer to demolition

Eight companies have pre-qualified for the job to deconstruct the structure

Eight companies have pre-qualified for the job to deconstruct the Johnson Street rail bridge, which has been suspended in the raised position since April due to safety concerns.

All are B.C. companies, and two are from Victoria: Ruskin Construction and Formula Pile and Bridge.

The job also entails relocating Telus communication lines.

Next, the city will issue tenders for the project, estimated at $1 million. The work is expected to begin in September.

Other aspects of the $77-million bridge replacement project are also progressing.

In advance of constructing the new bridge directly north of the current one, the city has acquired some waterfront land from Transport Canada. The 4,316-square-foot property was purchased for $997,000.

Also in the works is a photography project to document the 87-year-old bridge, and a public art project to commemorate it using a section of the decommissioned bridge. The city’s art in public places committee will send out a call for artists in 2013. The location is still to be determined, but the goal is to install the piece on time for the opening of the new bridge in four years.

Finally, the city’s lease to Via Rail of the train station and parking lot, situated at the bridge’s downtown approach, terminates July 27. The station building will likely be demolished, but the city is looking at options to move it, said city spokesperson Katie Josephson.

The Johnson Street Bridge project is expected to take four years to complete.

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