The City of Victoria has officially opened the new Johnson Street Bridge, one of the busiest and most important transportation links to the city’s central business, entertainment, and tourism districts.
The bridge sees approximately 30,000 crossings each day and on average, more than 4,000 pedestrians and 3,000 cyclists use the bridge each weekday to travel to and from Victoria’s downtown.
At 46 metres, the new bridge is the largest single-leaf bascule bridge in Canada – and one of the largest in the world – redrawing the city’s skyline and creating a new landmark in Victoria’s harbour.
Located over a federal waterway, the new bascule lift bridge will also serve the marine industry, commercial vessels and recreational marine users by providing access through the marine channel below.
Construction began in May 2013, with PCL Constructors Westcoast as the general contractor and MMM Group (WSP) providing the engineering services for design and project management.
While traffic will now be moving across the new span, work continues for the next several months to complete the project. Work will now shift immediately to remove the old iconic Blue Bridge span and complete the interim treatments for public spaces at both the east and west approaches to the bridge, public plazas and a new waterfront park in Victoria West.
The new bridge is built to serve the community for the next 100 years and provides improved safety and accessibility for vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians, and people who use mobility aids. There are three travel lanes for vehicles, on-road bike lanes, and a multi-use trail for pedestrians and cyclists. A pedestrian bridge spanning Esquimalt Road that connects the Galloping Goose and E&N trails is also open for public use. A dedicated pedestrian pathway on the south side of the bridge, with viewing access into the bascule pier, will open later this summer following the removal of the old bridge.
Pending the completion of the southern pedestrian walkway, more than 50 per cent of the new bridge deck space will accommodate pedestrians and cyclists.