New Johnson Street Bridge Steel Arrives In Victoria

August 22 2017

Construction of the new Johnson Street Bridge enters an important new phase today with the arrival of the first shipment of steel at the Point Hope Shipyard.

The pieces include the north and south rings, the lower counterweight and pieces called false work. The false work pieces are put together to create a temporary structure that will be used to hold the rings up while they are installed in the bascule pier.

The steel was transported from China across the Pacific Ocean to North Vancouver where it was loaded onto the Arctic Tuk crane barge and then transported to Victoria’s upper harbour.

Now that the steel is arriving, the next job for PCL – the general contractor for the bridge project – is to clean and then inspect the steel pieces for any possible damage that may have occurred during its shipping from China.

The painting of the south ring is complete and will be assessed. The painting of the north ring only has a primer coating and will be completed in Victoria. All paint work will be done by local painting company, Clark and Pattison.

The span support segments that will connect the bridge’s steel rings with the bridge’s mechanical components were shipped from China in late July and are also expected to arrive in Victoria this week. Once the segments arrive at the Point Hope Shipyard, United Engineering will attach the span support segments to the steel rings.

The Arctic Tuk crane barge will remain in the upper harbour unloading pieces of steel in different locations until Saturday. It will first unload the steel rings and transfer the steel installation false work (temporary supports for steel during construction) to barges at the northern end of the Point Hope Shipyard. This process is expected to take several days. On Saturday, a full marine channel closure will be needed as the crane barge unloads the false work and some machinery pieces into the bascule pier. This work is expected to start at 7 a.m. and take approximately six hours. During this time the marine channel under the current bridge will be closed to all marine traffic, however the current bridge will remain open to vehicle traffic.

The second shipment of steel has also been loaded on a barge in China and is scheduled to arrive in Victoria at the end of September. The pieces included in that shipment are the two steel trusses, the deck that cars and bikes will travel across, and the pedestrian and multi-use pathways. When the bridge truss and deck structure arrive in Victoria, work will be done in the upper harbour to attach the pedestrian walkway and the multi-use pathway to the deck structure, as well as install the bridge architectural and traffic lighting and the new deck surface.

Other work over the coming months will include:

  • False work being constructed in the bascule pier
  • Span segment installation (the pieces that will connect the rings to the machinery) at Point Hope Shipyard
  • The rings being moved from Point Hope and installed into the bascule pier
  • Once the rings are in place, the bridge truss and deck structure will be attached to the rings
  • Testing mechanical, electrical and hydraulic systems to ensure the bridge is functioning properly

During all this work over the coming months, marine channel closures as well as vehicle and pedestrian traffic closures on the current bridge will be necessary in order to safely move equipment and the large steel pieces. These closures will be communicated by the City and PCL as needed.

Quick Facts:

  • Each steel ring weighs approximately 290 metric tonnes
  • Each steel ring is approximately 50 feet in diameter
  • The Arctic Tuk is a 600-ton crane and is one of the largest cranes in Western Canada
  • An even larger 900-ton crane called The Beast, currently being constructed in Vancouver, will be used to install the rings and lower counterweight and lift the truss and deck structure into place
  • The Government of Canada is providing up to $37.5 million in funding towards the project, including $21 million from the Building Canada Fund and $16.5 million through Canada’s Gas Tax Fund

Meta Navigation