Yes, we have a new bridge at Johnson Street! While we somewhat miss the old blue bridge, we have to admit that the new one looks quite well. But at what costs? Here is what the Times Colonist wrote to this subject:
“Massively over budget and years behind schedule, the fact that the new Johnson Street Bridge will officially open today and actually goes up and down is well-nigh a miracle.
The project began in the spring of 2009 when, armed with a consultant’s opinion that the deteriorating then-85-year-old bridge would fail in the event of a significant earthquake, Victoria councillors opted for replacement.
Refurbishing the old Blue Bridge would cost between $25 million and $30 million and add 40 years of life, while a new bridge would cost $35 million to $40 million and likely last 100 years, councillors were initially told. A month later, when the city (unsuccessfully) applied for federal-provincial stimulus grants, the new-bridge estimate was already $63 million.
By 2010 the budget had jumped to $77 million, and by 2012 it was $92.8 million. It now stands at more than $105 million with bills still coming in. (The federal government ultimately agreed to provide $37.5 million in infastructure and gas tax funding. The province, not a cent.)”