Victoria, British Columbia, remains on pace to give Canada its largest single-leaf bascule bridge and one of the largest in the world. A new Johnson Street Bridge within the Inner Harbour of the province’s capital has PCL Constructors Westcoast busy building just north of an existing bridge.
Work to replace a 90-year-old bridge currently in use started in May 2013. The largest infrastructure project ever undertaken by the city, PCL’s $62.9 million contract includes building a new bridge and interchanges near the existing crossing.
The bridge will feature three lanes for vehicle traffic, but 50 percent of the new bridge space will accommodate pedestrians and cyclists with on-road bike lanes, a multi-use trail and dedicated pedestrian pathway.
The single-leaf bascule, built by ZTSS Bridge northwest of Shanghai, China, will open to allow marine traffic through the harbor to continue. Instead of the current open steel grating, the new roadway will get finished “with a material similar to asphalt” for a quieter ride.
A 2009 assessment of the current bridge found issues common to a moving bridge built in the 1920s, including corroding steel structural beams and obsolete mechanical and electrical systems.
To get the new bridge in place, crews started with heavy site clearing, including of contaminated material, and installation of 16 steel-cased drill shafts for the bascule pier. The bascule components will arrive in Victoria in July 2015, according to the Journal of Commerce, marking a major milestone that includes the installation of the mechanical systems needed to operate the bridge.
When opened in 2016, the light gray bridge—architectural lighting at night will give it a blue shine—will likely still lift three to four times a day and carry about 30,000 vehicles daily.
Tim Newcomb is Engineering News-Record’s Pacific Northwest contributor. He also writes for Popular Mechanics, Sports Illustrated and more. You can follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb or visit his website here.