New Johnson Street Bridge will be open on March 31, city says


The new Johnson Street Bridge.

The new Johnson Street Bridge.

After all of the delays and controversy, a date has finally been set for the opening of the new Johnson Street Bridge.

The official unveiling of the event will take place on March 31, with a ribbon cutting at noon. A community festival will be held on the old bridge deck from noon until 5 p.m. Attendees will get a chance to walk across the new bridge before it officially opens to traffic at 5 p.m.

The city said the event will feature music, food trucks and a community picnic.

Mayor Lisa Helps said she hopes people will come out and celebrate. She also said finally having a launch date, and being able to plan the big party, is a huge relief.

“I think the critics are right – this has not been a good project. We’re never going to do a project like this again. But, at the end of the day, the project is done – the bridge will last 100 years, and we want to have a community festival to celebrate all the work that has happened and to give people a chance to say goodbye to old blue,” Helps said.

The bridge was originally supposed to be completed in 2015 with a $63-million budget. The cost went up to $105 million after problems with steel fabrication in China.

Victoria council, led by former mayor Dean Fortin, first proposed replacing the old bridge in 2009.


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