VICTORIA, May 17, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Ron Cannan, Member
of Parliament for Kelowna—Lake Country joined City of Victoria Mayor
Dean Fortin and Sean Brock, Vice President and District Manager of PCL
Constructors Westcoast Inc., to officially kick off the start of
construction at the Johnson Street Bridge site in downtown Victoria.
"Our government is proud to invest in this important job-creating
project to replace the existing Johnson Street Bridge," said MP Cannan.
"Expected to create 900 jobs and $500 million in local economic
development, this project is another example of how we are delivering
real results for infrastructure priorities that benefit the communities
and the environment in British Columbia."
The new bridge will feature on-road bike lanes, a multi-use trail, and a
pedestrian pathway, improving overall accessibility for pedestrians,
cyclists and those who use mobility aids. It will also feature new
plaza areas for the public to view the harbour, an improved navigation
channel for marine vessels, and will be built to a lifeline seismic
standard—which means it would be able to withstand an 8.5 magnitude
earthquake. This is the highest standard in the current bridge design
code for Canada. A public art piece and new public green space are
planned enhancements to the area as a result of the bridge project.
"This is an exciting day in the City of Victoria," noted Mayor Fortin.
"The new Johnson Street Bridge will vastly improve cycling, walking and
driving options to and from downtown for generations. It will
contribute to the economic growth of our region by providing employment
opportunities and improved infrastructure in our city."
The area near the existing Johnson Street Bridge is now an active
construction site. The public can expect to see more crews and
equipment arriving over the coming weeks. A temporary trestle will soon
be built on the north east side of the bridge to support cranes and
equipment to build the new bridge.
The current bridge will remain open to pedestrians, cyclists, vehicles,
and marine traffic until the new bridge opens to traffic in late 2015.
"PCL is excited to be a part of the team to build this new iconic
bridge. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our team," said Mr.
Brock. "From the outset, our involvement has been a positive
collaborative effort with the city and its partners, and we look
forward to building on that spirit."
The new bridge will be the largest single-leaf bascule lift bridge in
Canada - and one of the largest in the world - creating a new iconic
structure and destination within Victoria's Inner Harbour. A bascule
bridge is a bridge that includes a lift section to provide clearance
for boat traffic.
PCL Constructors Westcoast has been recruiting locally for contractors
and trades positions. The Urban Development Institute estimates that
construction of the new bridge will have long-term local economic
benefits in excess of $500 million. This includes economic benefits
from new development and overall revitalization of the area.
The overall budget for the replacement of the Johnson Street Bridge is
$92.8 million. The Government of Canada is providing up to $37.5
million in funding towards the project, including $21 million from the
Building Canada Fund and $16.5 million through Canada's Gas Tax Fund.
The Government of Canada has also provided a $10.2 million low-cost
infrastructure loan through the Canada Mortgage and Housing
Corporation's Municipal Infrastructure Lending Program. The remaining
bridge replacement costs are funded by the City of Victoria through
reallocated capital budgets and electoral-approved borrowing.
Canada's Economic Action Plan 2013 focuses on creating new opportunities
for jobs creation, growth, and long-term prosperity for Canadians.
Strengthening infrastructure across the country is an important part of
this strategy. Thanks to the Government of Canada's leadership, and our
strong economic and financial fundamentals, the Canadian economy has
recovered from the global recession better than most other
industrialized countries. Since July 2009, Canada's economy has created
over 900,000 net new jobs - the strongest job growth among G-7
countries over the recovery. Find out more about the opportunities in
the Economic Action Plan 2013 at www.budget.gc.ca/2013/home-accueil-eng.html.
For the latest information on the project, and to view the project
webcam, visit www.JohnsonStreetBridge.com
SOURCE: Government of Canada
For further information:
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
Director of Communications
City of Victoria
Transport Canada, Ottawa
Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to e-news or stay connected through RSS, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr to keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada.
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