Governments announce funding for new Johnson Street Bridge

New bridge will create an estimated 900 local jobs, boost the economy and improve safety

VICTORIA, March 3, 2012 /CNW/ - Eve Adams, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Member of Parliament for Mississauga-Brampton South, today announced that the Government of Canada will provide up to $37.5 million in funding to replace the Johnson Street Bridge. Parliamentary Secretary Adams was joined for the announcement by the Honourable Ida Chong, British Columbia's Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development; His Worship Dean Fortin, Mayor of Victoria; and Rhona Martin, second vice-president of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities.

"Our government is proud to invest in the replacement of the Johnson Street Bridge," said Parliamentary Secretary Adams. "Canadians gave us a strong mandate to stay focused on the economy, and we are investing in key infrastructure projects across the country to create jobs and economic growth, and lay the foundation for long-term prosperity."

Over the next four years, the Johnson Street Bridge project is expected to create an estimated 900 jobs and $500 million in economic development. The new bridge will include on-road bicycle lanes; improved accessibility for pedestrians, strollers and scooters; safer road approaches; and connections to the Galloping Goose trail and the future Harbour Pathways.

The estimated total cost of the replacement project is $77 million. The federal government's contribution includes $21 million from the Building Canada Fund and $16.5 million through Canada's Gas Tax Fund. The City of Victoria will fund the remainder of the costs.

"The replacement of the Johnson Street Bridge is the single most important infrastructure project undertaken by the City of Victoria. It is a vital transportation link for the entire region and helps support our thriving downtown," said Mayor Fortin. "This unprecedented investment by the federal government is deeply appreciated by our city."

"The cost of replacing aging infrastructure like the Johnson Street Bridge underscores the importance of revenue sharing programs like the Gas Tax Fund," said Ms. Martin. "UBCM is very appreciative of the contributions this program is making to infrastructure throughout British Columbia."

"This is a good example of how the Gas Tax Fund is supporting local economies and jobs," said Minister Chong. "Eventual replacement of this bridge will streamline access for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians, providing an improved link to accommodate the region's future growth and supporting low-carbon transportation options for residents and visitors alike."

Canada's Gas Tax Fund provides stable, long-term funding to local governments and other organizations to help them build and revitalize public infrastructure. The fund primarily supports capital projects such as local roads, public transit, energy systems and waste management infrastructure that lead to cleaner air, cleaner water or reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The UBCM administers the Gas Tax Fund in B.C. in collaboration with Canada and British Columbia. The Government of Canada, through the Gas Tax Fund, provides approximately $250 million in annual funding for municipal infrastructure in British Columbia. On December 15, 2011, the Government of Canada passed legislation to make the Gas Tax Fund a permanent annual investment of $2 billion.

The new Johnson Street Bridge will be complete and open to traffic by the end of March 2016.

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For further information:

Pierre Floréa
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and
Communities, Ottawa
613-991-0700

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
613-993-0055

Infrastructure Canada
613-960-9251
Toll-free: 1-877-250-7154

Jeff Rud
Communications Director
Ministry of Community, Sport
and Cultural Development
250-953-3677
250-208-4028 (cell)

Paul Taylor
Relationships and
Communications Advisor
UBCM
250-356-2938

Katie Josephson
Director, Corporate Communications
City of Victoria
250-361-0210
250-217-8343 (cell)