The first shipment of steel for the long-awaited Johnson Street Bridge project is on its way from China to Victoria, and the city is making the journey an interactive one.

The long-awaited project is still about eight months from completion, and the shipment, which includes the north and south rings and lower counterweight, will arrive in mid-to-late August.

A temporary structure used to support components during installation is also being shipped over.

Those wanting to track the voyage of the heavy lift ship carrying the components can do so on the MarineTraffic website here.

Once the components arrive, they’ll be sent to Point Hope Shipyard where they’ll be cleaned and inspected for possible damage, and any unpainted components will receive a final coating.

The second shipment of steel is expected to leave China in September and arrive in Victoria by October, and project manager Jonathan Huggett says the new bridge will be traffic-ready by March 30, 2018.

The bridge is nearly three years behind schedule, and in a recent update to city council the contractor overseeing bridge assembly said it had experienced two major delays to fabrication.

Rust accumulating on some of the components from sitting around was also identified as an issue, but Huggett said the city wouldn’t accept any steel unless it was in good condition.

The project was initially scheduled to be completed in 2015 on a budget of $63-million, but that budget has since ballooned to $105-million.

Mayor Lisa Helps said the latest setbacks to the bridge’s progress won’t hurt taxpayers wallets.