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Victoria BC Johnson Street Bridge Demolition

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Published on Mar 1, 2012

A victim of neglect; the beginning of the end for our iconic blue bridge.

In 2011 the City of Victoria,British Columbia, Canada decided to replace the 87 year old Johnson street blue bridge. The structure, designed in 1920 and completed in 1924, is one of the few remaining JosephStrauss designed bascule bridges left in North America. Of particular note are the two adjacent bascule spans carrying road and rail traffic respectively. Joseph Strauss later went on to design San Francisco's Golden Gate bridge.

On Friday February 24th 2012, demolition of the blue
bridge began with the removal of the rail bascule;
perhaps severing forever, Victoria's historic rail link
to the rest of Vancouver Island. City council chose
not to include a rail component in the new design.

The city of Victoria publishes their Johnson street bridge info. here:
http://www.johnsonstreetbridge.com

The project is not without controversy and other information is available at:
http://johnsonstreetbridge.org/ and...
http://focusonline.ca/?q=search/node/...
amongst others...

History buffs, have a look here:
http://www.hallmarksociety.ca/Harbeck...

....and don't forget Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnson_...

etc., etc.

This short video marks the beginning of the end for our iconic blue bridge.
If only there had been a proper
maintenance plan in place through the years....
Controversy aside, the start of demolition
was spectacular....and yes it was raining hard that day!

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UPDATE. April 2012.
Read David Broadland's analysis in Victoria's Focus magazine...
http://focusonline.ca/?q=node/357
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UPDATE. April 2012.
by Patrick Murphy, a letter writer to Victoria's Focus magazine...
http://focusonline.ca/?q=node/366

"Smoke and mirrors at City Hall

For those who have not watched a sheep-herding demonstration, I commend to you a Victoria City Council committee of the hopeless I snoozed through recently.

In March this flock met to hear from its highly-paid ring knockers about why the new Blue Bridge is going to cost 20 percent more for now and probably double before it is never built. For hours these so-called professionals droned on and the dutiful flock did not even ask the traditional "How high?" when staff told them to jump. The issue was why the price had gone up so dramatically over what voters had been promised in a referendum. A full report was presented two days prior to the meeting, but since our councillors are not bright enough to read it, the gang of engineers read it to them, and, oh what a song and dance it was.

Why, they have to pay more for insurance on construction. There would be more millions for archaeological costs. Who would have thunk you would have to get insurance on a project? And what a surprise to discover First Nations had lived there. I wonder if they lived anywhere else in the province?

The presentation was mind-boggling. One consultant gave a Power Point show of bridge designs and noted they were in 3D. One of several thousand examples given of bridges that may or may not be built was in Ireland with a prison in the background where "Irish independents" were kept, so this showed what a bridge could do. Was this a sales pitch for a new bridge or an explanation of why costs had gone through the roof? One thing made clear was that all these bridges were "iconic." Then there was the startling revelation that the seabed was irregular. Apparently, it started high and went down. Guess no previous bridge builder here had discovered that.

All this was in the report, but none of the sheep said "Get on with it. We know your smoke and mirrors: Why has the bill gone up?"

Great blather was made of the fact the whole project had been peer reviewed. Who were these peers—the Smurfs?

No one suggested the staff overseeing this should be fired. No one suggested the engineers be fired and it was time to cut losses and re-evaluate with someone who knew what they were doing.

No, it was the old saw of "We have spent this much already, so we might as well carry on."

So when a new bridge does open—maybe—in 12 years, the cost will be closer to $200 million. Who would have thought the province was so wise in keeping out of this farce?

Patrick Murphy"
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