News Releases

Final Blue Bridge Steel Removal and Traffic Closures

June 1 2018

VICTORIA, BC — Starting next week, the Dynamic Beast crane barge will return to Victoria to help remove the remaining pieces of the old Johnson Street Bridge. The crane barge will be parked south of the new bridge and blocking the marine channel from Friday, June 8 until Sunday, June 10.

As with previous heavy lifts that have taken place during the project, whenever there is a possible risk to public safety there will be a full closure to vehicle, cyclist and pedestrian traffic across the bridge. There are four large pieces of steel to be removed, so temporary closures will be required between Friday and Sunday.

The City’s contractor PCL has estimated the steel lifts and necessary closures of the Johnson Street Bridge will be as follows:

June 8:

  • Temporary full bridge closures to vehicle, cyclist and pedestrians during necessary crane lifts for approximately one hour between 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (during non-peak traffic times)

June 9 & 10:

  • Temporary full bridge closures to vehicle, cyclist and pedestrians between 7 a.m. – 6 p.m., as necessary, for several hours at a time

The City will notify the media and the public through www.JohnsonStreetBridge.com and @CityofVictoria on Twitter approximately one hour before the temporary closures take place.

Note: The lifts are weather dependent as the steel pieces cannot be lifted during high winds. If required the work could be extended if more time is needed to remove the old bridge.

The best view of construction activities will be from the downtown side near Reeson Park or the Victoria West side at the waterfront walkway near the Delta Ocean Point Hotel.

Blue Bridge Removal and Temporary Traffic Closures

April 12 2018

Please note, due to high winds the work scheduled for April 17/18 will now take place on April 18/19. See more below.

Starting next week, the Dynamic Beast crane barge will return to Victoria to help decommission and remove the old Johnson Street Bridge. The massive crane barge will be parked in the marine channel under both bridges for periods of time on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

As with previous heavy lifts that have taken place during the project, whenever there is a possible risk to public safety there will be a full closure to vehicle, cyclist and pedestrian traffic across the bridge.

On Wednesday April 18 and Thursday April 19, the new bridge will only be opened to vehicle, cyclist and pedestrian traffic during the morning and afternoon rush hours from 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

The City’s contractor PCL has estimated that the major steel lifts and necessary closures of the new Johnson Street Bridge will be as follows:

Monday April 16:

  • A full bridge closure to vehicle, cyclist and pedestrians between 5:30 a.m. – 7:00 a.m.  while both bridges are raised to the up position while the Dynamic Beast crane barge positions itself in the marine channel

Tuesday April 17: Now scheduled for Wednesday April 18

  • A full bridge closure to vehicle, cyclist and pedestrians between 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and again from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Wednesday April 18: Now scheduled for Thursday April 19

  • A full bridge closure to vehicle, cyclist and pedestrians between 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.  If the crane barge has not left the jobsite by 4 p.m., an additional closure after 6 p.m. may be required.

Old JSB Bridge Construction Activities:

Monday – Crews will prepare the old bridge span for lifting by the Dynamic Beast

Was Tuesday, Now Wednesday – The Dynamic Beast will lift the main span of the old bridge to disconnect it from the counterweight tower

Was Wednesday, Now Thursday – The Dynamic Beast will fully remove the main span and west span of the old bridge and set on the deck of the crane barge and then depart from the jobsite

Note: It’s possible this work could extend to (was Thursday) Friday if more time is needed to decommission the old bridge and similar bridge closures should be expected from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. if necessary. The dates and times above are also subject to change and are weather dependent as the steel pieces cannot be lifted during high winds.

The best view of the construction activities will be from the downtown side near Reeson Park, or the Victoria West side at the waterfront walkway near the Delta Hotel.

Event and Traffic Details for Johnson Street Bridge Opening March 31

March 26 2018

The new Johnson Street Bridge will be opened to traffic on Saturday, March 31, following an official opening and community celebration event.

The community celebration event and associated traffic plans to ready the new bridge for traffic are as follows:

Community Celebration – Hello New, Goodbye Blue

Time: Noon – 5 p.m.

The official opening ceremony begins at noon on the downtown side of the new bridge. The community will then have the opportunity to cross the new bridge before it opens to vehicle traffic.

The celebration event is a street party and community picnic where people can explore the new bridge and pay tribute to “Old Blue”, will also include:

  • A community picnic on both bridges
  • Music and entertainment
  • Food trucks
  • Vintage cars and emergency vehicles
  • Activity stations to share memories of “Old Blue” hosted by the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network
  • Crafts for kids; and more

Both bridges will be closed to vehicle traffic during the event. Wharf Street/Store Street will remain open to vehicle traffic.

Traffic and Road Closures

To prepare for the traffic change over to the new Johnson Street Bridge, and to hold the opening event, both bridges will be closed to all vehicle traffic from 7 a.m., Friday, March 30 until approximately 9 p.m., Saturday, March 31. Access for pedestrians and cyclists will be maintained on the existing Johnson Street Bridge.

During the closure, drivers should plan to use the Bay Street Bridge. Information boards have been placed on the east and west approaches to the bridge to advise the public of closures and delays. Transit will be rerouted. Wharf Street/Store Street will remain open to vehicle traffic.

The new bridge is scheduled to open to vehicle traffic around 9 p.m. Saturday, March 31, at which time the existing Johnson Street Bridge will be closed to the public.

Pedestrian, cyclist and vehicle traffic movements for March 30-31 are as follows:

  • Closure to all vehicle traffic starting 7 a.m., Friday, March 30 until approximately 9 p.m. Saturday, March 31
  • Pedestrian and cyclist access maintained across the pedestrian sidewalk on the existing Johnson Street Bridge March 30-31 (cyclists must dismount and walk bikes across)
  • Both bridges and their pedestrian walkways open from Noon – 5 p.m. on March 31
  • Pedestrian and cyclist access maintained across the pedestrian sidewalk on the existing Johnson Street Bridge from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • The new Johnson Street Bridge opens to vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians at approximately 9 p.m. March 31 and the old Johnson Street Bridge is officially closed to the public

In addition to opening the new bridge, the pedestrian bridge spanning Esquimalt Road connecting the Galloping Goose and E&N trails will also be opened for public use. The new pedestrian walkway (south side) of the new bridge will remain closed until deconstruction of the old bridge is complete.

Work continues for the next several months to complete the project.  Work shifts immediately to removing the old bridge span and completing the interim treatments for public spaces at both the east and west approaches to the bridge, public plazas and a new waterfront park in Victoria West.

The public can expect periodic lane closures on the new bridge and traffic detours during the final phase of construction until the project is fully completed later this summer. Additional closures of the new bridge will be required when the Dynamic Beast crane barge removes the old Johnson Street Bridge.

Bridge Deck Span Installation Postponed

January 27 2018

Due to high winds in the forecast Saturday afternoon the installation of the bridge deck span has been postponed until Sunday at 7 a.m. The work that was scheduled for Saturday and Sunday will now take place on Sunday and Monday and the existing bridge will remain open today.

The existing Johnson Street Bridge will now be closed from 7 a.m. Sunday until 5 p.m. on Monday to all pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers as the crane barge will be parked directly underneath the existing bridge during the installation. During the closure, traffic delays are expected and pedestrians, cyclists and drivers should plan to use the Bay Street Bridge.

Note: The dates and times above remain subject to change and are weather dependent as the steel pieces cannot be lifted during high winds. While this work was planned to take place over a weekend, if high winds continue on Sunday the crane barge will remain positioned in the marine channel and will lift at the earliest opportunity. If the work is pushed to a weekday, significant traffic delays can be expected and the public should plan accordingly.

The best view of the construction activities will be from the northeast side of the bridge near Canoe Club and Mermaid Wharf or online on the project webcam.

 

Bridge Deck Span Installation Set for January 27 & 28

January 25 2018

The Dynamic Beast crane barge is returning to Victoria next week to install the last of the major components for the new Johnson Street Bridge.

On Saturday, January 27, the massive crane barge will lift and place the 46-metre long bridge deck span. The span includes the three vehicle travel lanes, two on-street bike lanes, a pedestrian walkway and a multi-use pathway that connects with the Galloping Goose and E&N Trails.

On Sunday, January 28, the Dynamic Beast will lift the steel roadway infill panel into place. The panel sits between the main bridge deck span and the rings, completing the entire bridge deck.

During the work to complete this major milestone in the new bridge’s construction, the existing Johnson Street Bridge will be closed from 7 a.m. Saturday until 5 p.m. on Sunday to all pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers. The crane barge will be parked directly underneath the existing bridge which will remain in the up position until all pieces are placed. Areas near the approaches to the bridge will also be closed to ensure public safety.

The best view of the construction activities will be from the northeast side of the bridge near Canoe Club and Mermaid Wharf or online on the project webcam.

 

January 26

  • The Dynamic Beast crane barge will pass under the current bridge into the Upper Harbour early in the day
  • From approximately noon onwards the marine channel will be closed to all marine traffic as large concrete girders that become the roadway deck that spans across the bascule pier are loaded onto a barge

 

January 27

  • Starting at 7 a.m. the existing Johnson Street Bridge will be raised into the up position and will be closed to all pedestrians, cyclists and drivers
  • The Dynamic Beast crane barge will be positioned in the marine channel under the existing bridge and will lift and place the new bridge deck span

 

January 28

  • The Dynamic Beast crane barge will lift the steel roadway infill panel into place.
  • Once the major lifts are completed, the Dynamic Beast will depart Victoria and the existing bridge will be reopened to pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.

 

January 29 – February 4

  • Crews will work to attach the bridge deck span to the rings from barges that will continue to block the marine channel
  • Once the span has been secured to the rings, the first test lift of the new bridge will take place

Note: The dates and times above are subject to change and are weather dependent as the steel pieces cannot be lifted during high winds.

During the weekend closure, traffic delays are expected and pedestrians, cyclists and drivers should plan to use the Bay Street Bridge. Information boards will be placed on the east and west approaches to the bridge to advise the public of closures and delays. Some noise and additional lighting around the construction area should be expected during the construction period. Emergency services and BC Transit have been notified and some bus routes will be altered.

Victoria Harbour Ferry has also stepped up once again to provide ferry services during the closure between the Delta Hotel Dock, Regent Hotel and Causeway docks.  The ferries will operate from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The fare is $2 per person for a one-way trip.

Following the departure of the Dynamic Beast a full marine channel closure will remain in effect until February 4 as smaller barges will be parked in the waterway as crews work to attach the bridge deck span to the rings. This closure applies to all vessels including industrial and commercial vessels, and smaller boats such as sailboats, canoes, and kayaks.

The new bridge will look essentially complete with these major pieces in place, but there is still work to be completed before it is ready to open to the public at the end of March. This includes a comprehensive series of tests of the mechanical, electrical and hydraulic systems.

Installation of Steel Rings and Counterweight For New Bridge

November 28 2017

VICTORIA, BC – The Dynamic Beast crane barge will be parked in the marine channel under the Johnson Street Bridge Saturday and Sunday in order to lift three major pieces of steel into the new bridge’s bascule pier.

The City’s contractor PCL has estimated that the major steel lifts and subsequent closures of the Johnson Street Bridge will be as follows:

Saturday

  • 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. – the Dynamic Beast crane barge will position itself under the existing bridge and lift the lower counterweight into place
  • 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. – the Dynamic Beast will lift the north ring into place

Sunday

  • 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. – the Dynamic Beast crane barge will lift the south ring into place and then depart the harbour

Note: The dates and times above are subject to change and are weather dependent as the steel pieces cannot be lifted during high winds.

During these major steel ring and counterweight lifts the existing bridge will be closed to all pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles. These closures are necessary to ensure public safety. The best view of the construction activities will be from the northeast side of the bridge near Canoe Club and Mermaid Wharf or online on the project webcam.

Final Johnson Street Bridge Steel Shipment Arrives In Victoria Sunday

September 15 2017

VICTORIA, B.C. – The final shipment of steel for the new Johnson Street Bridge is expected to arrive in Victoria at the Ogden Point terminal late on Sunday evening.

The pieces included in that shipment are the bridge deck span that cars and bikes will travel across and the pedestrian and multi-use pathways. On Monday the bridge deck span will be offloaded onto a barge and lashed down in order to be transported under the current Johnson Street Bridge on Tuesday afternoon.

Once the steel arrives in the upper harbour it will be cleaned and then inspected for any possible damage during shipping. Work will then take place to attach the pedestrian walkway and the multi-use pathway to the deck span, as well as install the bridge architectural and traffic lighting and the new bridge deck surface.

Johnson Street Bridge Closed Wednesday Night – Thursday Morning

September 12 2017

VICTORIA, BC — The Johnson Street Bridge will be closed to all vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians from 9 p.m. Wednesday, September 13 to 5 a.m. Thursday morning. The marine channel under the bridge will also be closed during this time.

The bridge will be at its full open position in order to remove old wooden piles to make way for a large crane barge that will be used during the new bridge installation.

Traffic will be detoured to the Point Ellice Bridge on Bay Street.

Final Johnson Street Bridge Steel Shipment Headed To Victoria

August 30 2017

VICTORIA, BC – The final shipment of steel pieces for the new Johnson Street Bridge have been loaded onto a heavy lift ship and are now on their way to Victoria.

The steel has left Shanghai and will take approximately 25 days to cross the Pacific Ocean, arriving in late September. The pieces included in that shipment are the bridge deck structure that cars and bikes will travel across and the pedestrian and multi-use pathways. When the bridge deck structure arrives 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.

The steel will be offloaded in Victoria or in Vancouver depending on timing. Once the steel arrives in Victoria it will be cleaned and then inspected for any possible damage during shipping. 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.

The City will alert media and the public closer to the date the final steel shipment is expected to arrive.

Ship tracking information:

For those interested in tracking the progress of the vessel carrying the steel, click the link to follow the AAL Singapore travel progress across the Pacific Ocean:  AAL SINGAPORE

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

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