Bridge Price $105 Million, and Rising

In April of 2016, City of Victoria councillors voted to increase the budget for the new Johnson Street Bridge by $8.2 million — $2.4M to pay off claims filed by the contractor and engineering firms against the City, $3.8M in new costs, and $2M in extra contingency — bringing the current total of the project to $105 million. The bridge is scheduled open to traffic in March 2018, two years later than promised. (Read the April 2016 staff report here, and a news story about the councillors’ decision here.)

But more increases are coming. In April of 2017, City staff said it will cost $7 million to complete the public plazas and landscaping around the new bridge (read the report here). The project director said two years ago it would cost “upwards of $4 million” for extra fendering to protect the bridge, and rumours hint that could cost as much as $10 million, due to previous errors made by the City’s consultants (see the latest report here). 

The bridge will finally open to the public on March 31, 2018, nearly five years after  construction began ... but the work, and associated expenses, will continue well after that.

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Ross Crockford, director                          Brian Simmons, director
Telephone: 250 592 0574                        Telephone: 250 884 6974
Email: rosscrockford(AT)            Email: brian.simmons(AT)

How did we get here? Read the key bridge reports:
• Delcan’s April 2009 Johnson Street Bridge Condition Assessment, estimating rehabilitation and seismic upgrades to the 1924-built bridge for $23.6 million
• Commonwealth Historic Resource Management’s April 2009 Heritage Assessment of the Johnson Street Bridge identifying the 1924 bridge as a “very significant heritage landmark”
• MMM’s June 2010 Replacement and Rehabilitation Options presentation, increasing rehabilitation estimates to $80 million and replacement to $77 million
• Advicas Group's June 2010 Class “C” Estimates detailing the increased replacement and rehabilitation costs
• Ipsos-Reid’s August 2010 Business and Residential Survey Results on the proposed rehabilitation and replacement options
• MMM’s March 2012 Johnson Street Bridge Project Update detailing the increased budget of $92.8 million
• The proposals by PCL, Kiewit, and Walsh to build the new bridge (the latter two warned of risks caused by the unusual mechanical design), and the City's contract with PCL

• Jonathan Huggett’s June 2014 Review of the Johnson Street Bridge Project examining its leadership problems, delays, design issues, and contractual liabilities

Founded by Mat Wright, Ross Crockford, and Yule Heibel in the summer of 2009, we started out as a website providing independent information about the City of Victoria’s rush to replace the Johnson Street Bridge — the most expensive project in the City’s history. In December of 2009, we led a campaign that got 9,872 residents to sign petitions, forcing the City to hold a referendum on the project; a majority of voters approved the bridge replacement in a referendum in November 2010. Since then, we’ve continued to monitor the project, file freedom-of-information requests, advocate for greater transparency at City Hall, and report upon the project’s achievements, errors, and costs.