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20 weeks to go: new Johnson Street Bridge to be operational by March 31, 2018

The new Johnson Street Bridge bascule span as seen by night. Workers are finalizing the span's construction aboard a barge docked in the Upper Harbour. The bascule span is scheduled to be fitted into place between the two shores of the harbour in January.  Citified.ca

20 weeks to go: new Johnson Street Bridge to be operational by March 31, 2018
CITIFIED STAFF
Victorians could be traversing a brand new Johnson Street Bridge come March 31, provided construction crews finalize the span’s assembly and successfully position it into place in under 20 weeks.
 
Over budget by tens of millions of dollars and several years behind schedule, Victoria’s beleaguered replacement for the Joseph Strauss-designed 1920’s-era bascule bridge has been engineered to withstand seismic activity to a magnitude of 8.5 and will connect the shores of the Upper Harbour into the 22nd century.
 
The newly-delivered steel crossing, manufactured by Jiangsu Zhongtai Bridge Steel Structure Co. Ltd. of China, has been de-glittered from the avant-garde version taxpayers voted on in 2009, its deck has been shortened and the rest pier's eye-catching angled design has been straightened.
 
Yet with all of the changes and delays already factored into the project's finances, the final budget remains unknown.
 
The City of Victoria has already agreed to a cost of $105.06 million for what as originally touted as a $63 million undertaking, with fendering (a means of protecting the bridge from collisions with vessels) and bare minimum improvements to the public realm surrounding the span yet to be factored in. What their tally will ultimately be remains to be seen, although pundits suggest once the dust settles the entire undertaking could come with a doubling of the original budget announced by former Victoria Mayor and bridge replacement proponent Dean Fortin.
 
Negatives aside, workers are scheduled to install components of the new bridge as early as this month. First up will be the lifting mechanism's rings that will connect to the bascule span (itself scheduled to be inched into place in January). If all goes as planned with the mounting process, the entire setup will be tested throughout February and March.
 
And once the new Johnson Street Bridge becomes operational crews will begin the process of dismantling the historic crossing that served the B.C. Capital for nearly a century. C
 
 

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