Victoria council approves higher bridge budget

Johnson Street bridge project to proceed, almost as planned

Victoria city council has approved a new budget of $92.8 million for the Johnson Street Bridge replacement project.

It has also adopted a procurement model that retains the city’s control over the bridge design, as recommended by staff.

But council put their own stamp on the process by insisting on more flexibility in the design parameters.

Through a competitive process, the city will select three qualified proponents to bring their ideas for innovation, and hopefully cost savings, to the table. By October, the city plans to select the winning bid.

Earlier this week, engineering firm MMM Group, which has been hired by the city to oversee the bridge project, announced its 2010 estimate of $77 million had risen by 20 per cent.

Coun. Geoff Young, Ben Isitt and Lisa Helps voted against changing the project charter to reflect the higher cost. Coun. Shellie Gudgeon was absent.

rholmen@vicnews.com