First steel shipment for Johnson Street Bridge on its way to Victoria

First steel shipment for Johnson Street Bridge on its way to Victoria

The south ring for the Johnson Street Bridge is loaded onto the barge in China. Credit: City of Victoria. 

The first shipment of steel for the Johnson Street Bridge is expected to arrive in Victoria in mid-to-late August, the city announced Monday.

According to the City of Victoria, the steel has been loaded onto a barge in China. It will first travel down the Yangtze River to Shanghai. After the steel gets to Shanghai, it will be loaded onto a large freighter and taken to British Columbia. It is supposed to leave Shanghai on July 22.

The components being shipped are the north and south rings, the lower counterweight and the temporary structure (false work), which will support the various components of the bridge while it’s being erected.

It will take approximately 25 days for the steel to cross the Pacific Ocean and it is expected to arrive by mid-to-late August. The steel will be offloaded at either Ogden Point in Victoria or the Fraser Surrey Docks, depending on the Victoria cruise ship schedule. The steel will then be taken to Point Hope Shipyard.

Project manager Jonathan Huggett said they had to hit their target date.

“The problem is that there isn’t a ship that leaves everyday so often what happens is if you don’t meet your target date, then you have to wait a month for the next ship that’s going out,” Huggett said.

“So this was important that we met this date and we’ve done everything we can to meet the date.”

The steel will be cleaned and inspected for damage once it arrives in Victoria. The city said the south ring has been painted but the north ring has only received a primer coating in order to meet the required shipping date. The north ring will be painted in Victoria.

Once the steel is at the Point Hope Shipyard, United Engineering will attach the span support structure, which is being completed in Tianjin, China. The span support structure segments are being shipped separately by containers.

The second shipment of steel is expected to leave China in September and arrive in October.

“This first shipment of the rings was really critical for us maintaining schedule,” Huggett said.

Construction of the new Johnson Street Bridge is three years behind schedule. It was initially supposed to be completed in 2015 on a budget of $63 million. The budget has grown to $105 million and now the projected completion date is March 30, 2018.

The previously scheduled completion date was Dec. 28, 2017, but it was pushed back due to fabrication issues. There were concerns in June that rust had accumulated on the steel being fabricated in China. Huggett said in June the city wouldn’t accept the steel unless it was OK.

“One of the important things we’ve always said from the beginning is we’re going to do this project right and so, there’s always pressure on schedule and there has been delays but it’s been a question of getting the steel right,” Huggett said Monday.

A quarterly updated with be provided to Victoria city council on July 27. Huggett said at the moment, the project does not have any additional costs.

Anyone who is interested in tracking where the vessel carrying the steel is can visit AAL KEMBLA.

The north and south rings for the Johnson Street Bridge are loaded onto a barge in China. 

Alexa HuffmanAlexa Huffman

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