Johnson Street Bridge delayed again, this time to March 2018
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Thursday, June 15, 2017 10:35AM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, June 15, 2017 7:02PM PDT
It's nearly three years behind schedule, but Victorians are being asked to wait once more for the completion of the Johnson Street Bridge.
The much-delayed and over budget project has been pushed back again due to fabrication issues, city council was told Thursday.
In a report to city council, project manager Jonathan Huggett said the bridge wouldn’t be ready for traffic until March 30, 2018. The previous scheduled completion date was Dec. 28, 2017.
PCL Constructors Westcoast Ltd., the contractor overseeing bridge assembly in Victoria, said it has experienced two major delays to fabrication since the last update over issues with a truss/ring field splice connection and an orthotropic deck-to-floor beam connection.
Another issue is rust that has accumulated on the steel being fabricated in China from sitting around so long.
"We won't accept the steel coming here unless it is okay," said Huggett. "I mean, we've paid a lot of money for this bridge, and I do not intend to approve a bridge that does not look good as well as be good."
The first of two shipments of steel for the bascule section of the new bridge were supposed to leave China at the end of May and arrive in Victoria on July 3, but according to the latest update, that first shipment now isn't scheduled to arrive until the first week of September.
City's Project Director for JSB says fault for delays on bridge project fall on builder, PCL.— Robert Buffam (@CTVNewsRob) June 15, 2017
The bridge has been plagued with problems after it was approved by the city’s previous council, under then-mayor Dean Fortin.
Thursday's development is the latest delay to a project that was initially scheduled to be completed in 2015 on a budget of $63-million.
That budget has since ballooned to $105-million, but Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said the latest setback won't hurt taxpayers' wallets.
As for who's at fault, and who will pay for any extra costs, the mayor placed the blame squarely at the feet of PCL.
"The fault for the delay is firmly in PCL's hands. I think everyone would agree to that," she said.
CTV News reached out to PCL, but the company wouldn't comment and pointed to the presentation at City Hall today.