WATCH ABOVE: Concerns raised over whether Victoria’s largest ever infrastructure project will come in on time and on budget. Kylie Stanton reports.
Building Victoria’s new Johnson Street Bridge is costing more, and taking longer, than anyone would like.
And it’s quickly becoming an election issue in B.C.’s capital city.
“I didn’t approve the initial contract for the exact reason we’re in right now,” says Linda Helps, who is challenging current Mayor Dean Fortin in November’s municipal elections.
The most recent setback to the new bridge, which was approved in 2010, comes from the steel being used.
According to a quarterly progress report, the lifting lugs weren’t being built to design, and so construction has been halted.
Mayor Fortin says PCL, the company responsible for construction, have asked for $8 million because of the delay – a request an independent engineering firm is assessing for the city.
Current estimates have the bridge opening in January 2016 and costing just over $100 million. When voters approved borrowing $49.2 million in a 2010 referendum, the estimated cost was $77 million and estimated opening was September 2015.
And while there is disappointment with ongoing delays, even the watchdog group dedicated to the analyzing the bridge says construction is past the point of no return.
“We are stuck with a bridge that we can’t not build,” says Brian Simmons of johnsonstreetbridge.org
“If they stop work, it’s just going to cost us more.”