Construction costs on the new Johnson Street Bridge could go up, but it’s not necessarily the city’s to pay, says Mayor Dean Fortin.
Last week it was revealed that steel fabricated for the bridge may have to be rejected due to poor quality by the Chinese manufacturer Jiangsu Zhongtail Streel.
“Regular quality inspections are routinely underway to ensure the bridge is built to high standards of the design. A recent inspection found that some aspects of ther steel, specifically the lifting lugs needed to move the bridge, were not fabricated according to specifics laid out in the design,” said Jonathan Huggett, interim manager of the bridge project, in a report to council.
PCL Constructors, the company building the bridge, stopped all fabrication of the bridge after it became clear problems were not isolated incidents. Production is still shut down and likely won’t restart until mid-October.
Fortin said the city put extra money into the project to make sure the steel coming from China meets North American standards.
“These issues may delay the project up to three months, but all the costs associated with the delay are 100 per cent PCL’s.,” Fortin told CFAX Radio on Friday.
“We’re hearing there may be increases to the cost of the bridge, but they’re not necessarily the City of Victoria’s.”
City staff asked that project timelines be changed, moving the bridge completion date from December 2015 to the spring of of 2016 – a possible three-month delay.
Fortin said despite some speculation, the project is moving ahead.
“The steel is the critical path. It is the only one that is concerning,” he said. “We have safeguards in place that meets out standards, and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t get shipped.”
The total budget for the bridge is $92.8 million.