Victoria’s Johnson St. Bridge costs rise and fall

Cost of removing underwater telecommunication line higher than first thought, city council told

The good news is that the liftable span of new Johnson Street Bridge can be shorter, and so cheaper than originally budgeted. Less soil contamination than anticipated will also bring savings.

The bad news? Dealing with the Telus line under the bridge has proven more complex, and costly, than first estimated.

Victoria’s bridge team came to city council last week with these findings as part of its quarterly status update on the $77-million replacement project.

So will the costs and savings balance each other out?

At this point, there’s no answer – except that any net costs will be taken out of the 15 per cent contingency fund.

Here’s what we know so far:

Telus line relocation: The one-metre-wide duct services all Victoria West, Esquimalt and the Department of National Defence, and runs directly underneath the bridge.

At first the plan was to try to work around it as much as possible. Now, that thinking has changed.

The line likely carries sensitive information to CFB Esquimalt, said Joost Meyboom of MMM Group, the engineering company overseeing the project.

“During construction, if you were to hit that duct, it would be a very expensive mistake. Most insurance companies won’t cover it.”

The new plan is to relocate the entire line instead of just a small portion of it, bringing the cost from $1.3 million to $2.4 million. The job will take one year. A contractor for the work will be selected by the end of the month.

Liftable span length: Currently, when a ship travels under the Johnson Street Bridge, a span 39 metres in length rises to allow the passage. An early study to replace the bridge determined the navigation channel should be extended to 47 metres.

Consultation with the Upper Harbour users, however, concludes 41 metres will serve both the present and future needs of the marine industry. The six-metre reduction in scope will create less strain on the bridge mechanics over time, and cost less to build.

Next, MMM Group will analyze the cost savings involved.

Soil contamination: While a multi-year cleanup effort of nearby Rock Bay has been dogged by contamination much worse than expected, the opposite finding on the west approach to the bridge promises significant savings.

“We have to excavate to get the road in,” said Meyboom. “Our intent there is, as much as possible, to reuse material as fill (rather than barging it as far away as Prince Rupert).”

Clean soil means it’s fit to stay.

 

 

Just Posted

An old growth cedar stands in a cut-block within the Caycuse Valley. More than 100 prominent Canadians, have signed an open letter calling for the immediate protection of all remaining old-growth forests in B.C. (Submitted)
Brian Mulroney and Greta Thunberg among 100 celebrities pushing to save B.C. old growth

List includes Indigenous leaders, scientists, authors, Oscar winners

An eastern cottontail rabbit on the UVic campus. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)
Wild rabbits persist at the University of Victoria

Feral rabbits are still absent, but another non-native species has arrived on campus

COVID-19 exposures have been reported at Colquitz Middle School and Tillicum Elementary School, both on June 14. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)
Two Saanich schools report COVID-19 exposures

Exposures reported at Colquitz Middle School and Tillicum Elementary School

Sooke RCMP seized cocaine, ketamine, MDMA, prescription pills, $6,000 cash, a machete and pepper spray during a bust June 15. (Courtesy of Sooke RCMP)
Sooke RCMP seize drugs, machete, pepper spray

Man arrested near Evergreen Mall following drug deal

Staff will be reviewing public feedback from second-stage designs for cycling infrastructure in James Bay, part of the City of Victoria’s 32-kilometre network. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria sends James Bay bike lanes choice to next phase

Design modifications based on community input to be delivered to council this summer

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

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

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

Most Read