There’s only one week left until the new Johnson Street Bridge officially opens to the public and the city has released the event and traffic plans.
To prepare for the traffic change over to the new bridge and to hold the opening event on March 31, both bridges will be closed to vehicles from 7 a.m. Friday, March 30 until 9 p.m. on Saturday, March 31.
Pedestrians and cyclists will still be able to access the pedestrian walkway on the old bridge until 9 p.m. on March 31. Cyclists must dismount and walk their bikes across.
The new bridge and its walkway will be open for pedestrians from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. during the celebration event. The event will include a community picnic on both bridges, music and entertainment, food trucks, vintage cars and emergency vehicles, activity stations to share memories of “Old Blue” and crafts for kids.
During the closure of both bridges to vehicle traffic, drivers can use the Bay Street Bridge. There will be information boards on the east and west sides of the bridge to let drivers know about the closures and delays. BC Transit will be rerouted, and Wharf and Store streets will be open to vehicles.
The new bridge will open to vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians at 9 p.m. on Saturday. The old bridge will then close.
The city is also reminding people that the pedestrian bridge spanning Esquimalt Road connecting the Galloping Goose and E&N trails will also be opened for public use.
According to the city, crews will be removing the old bridge span and completing public spaces and plazas at the east and west end of the bridges over the next several months. There will also be a new waterfront park in Victoria West.
The new pedestrian walkway on the south side of the new bridge will remain closed until deconstruction of the old bridge is complete.
Drivers, pedestrians and cyclists should expect periodic lane closures and detours until construction is finished late in the summer. There will also be more closures when the Dynamic Beast crane barge removes the old Johnson Street Bridge.