British Columbia

Steel arrives for Victoria's much-delayed Johnson Street Bridge replacement

It's good news for the City of Victoria's embattled capital project.

Project racked by years of delays and balooning costs

The first shipment of steel for the new Johnson Street Bridge has arrived in Victoria. (City of Victoria)

The first steel for Victoria's Johnson Street bridge replacement project has arrived from China.

It's good news for the much-delayed municipal project.

"What a relief to have it on the barge and making its way to Victoria," said Mayor Lisa Helps.

"It's really going to be a big project for the next six to eight months while we get the bridge from the ship into working condition. There will be lots of things for the public to observe. People will see the bridge literally going up."

A crane with a 900 tonne capacity nicknamed "the Beast" is currently being constructed in Vancouver to start the next phase of work. It will work with another massive crane to install the bridge.

Another shipment of steel is currently on its way down the Yangtze River in China and is expected to arrive in Victoria at the end of September.

Delays, inflating costs

The project to replace the nearly century-old iconic blue bridge in the city's Inner Harbour has been racked by years of delays and ballooning costs.

Billed as the largest capital project in the city's history, costs for the project were initially estimated at $63 million with the bridge completed by 2015. Now, costs have grown to $105 million and the bridge is expected to be completed by mid-2018.

The Canadian Taxpayers Association even awarded the project the dubious honour of the 2017 Municipal Teddy Government Waste Award for wasting millions in public money.

With files from Liz McArthur

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