Repair work is set to start on the Bay Street bridge in the middle of May. File photo.

Repair work is set to start on the Bay Street bridge in the middle of May. File photo.

The eastbound lane across the Point Ellice (Bay Street) Bridge will be closed from the middle of May until approximately the end of October as upgrades are completed.

The $6.1-million project includes repairs to the concrete deck, rust protection of the steel, resurfacing the bridge deck and stripping and painting the steel on the underside of the bridge.

The city said in order for the upgrades to be completed, the eastbound lane across the bridge (toward downtown) will be closed between mid-May until the end of October, approximately. Changes will be made to traffic signal operations at the adjacent Johnson Street Bridge to help accommodate the increased traffic.

Pedestrian and wheelchair access will be maintained along the south sidewalk at all times during construction. Eastbound cyclists will have to dismount and walk their bicycles across the bridge with pedestrians. Local access will be maintained adjacent to the bridge to businesses and homes in the area

The city said multiple options for managing traffic were explored and the eastbound Bay Street closure provides the lowest impacts on traffic flow, minimizes impacts to BC Transit, maintains access to Victoria West and provides predictability to the travelling public. Emergency services have been consulted to minimize disruptions to service and BC Transit has already rerouted bus service.

Work on the bridge is expected to be finished in late 2019. The contract was awarded to Seismic 2000. The federal and provincial governments are contributing a combined $2.4 million in infrastructure funding for the project.

The Point Ellice Bridge was built between 1956-57. It received a seismic upgrade in 2001-2002. This project included reinforcement of the piers, replacement of bridge components, and work to resurface the roadway across the bridge surface.