The Huggett Report, and its Unanswered Questions
On July 27, engineering consultant Jonathan Huggett presented a damning report to Victoria councillors, declaring that nobody was in charge of the Johnson Street Bridge project, that no agreed schedule existed, and that the budget’s tiny contingency fund was largely spent. Read Huggett’s report HERE, and watch the meeting where he presents it HERE (item #3 on the agenda).
The City fired the project director, and hired Huggett on an interim basis to get the project “back on track”. Huggett is due to present a followup report and new budget this September. But FOCUS magazine has identified a series of further questions that he needs to answer — in particular, whether the bridge really will meet the City’s long-term needs, when it employs an unusual open-wheel lift mechanism requiring huge quantities of epoxy grout. Read FOCUS’s questions HERE.
Change Order Pushes Likely Bridge Cost Past $100 Million
On March 17, PCL, the contractor hired to build the new Johnson Street Bridge, issued a “change order” to the City of Victoria, demanding an extra $7.9 million to finish the bridge, citing “design delays and increases in the scope of the project.” MMM, the consultants overseeing the design, told the City to reject the demand, claiming that PCL had submitted a design that was only 10% complete when it bid on the project. The City then hired an independent evaluator to review the change order. Will the dispute end up in court? Is this the first of many change orders to come? Read PCL’s change order HERE, MMM’s reply HERE, and FOCUS magazine’s analysis HERE.
The Key Bridge Reports
- Delcan’s April 2009 Johnson Street Bridge Condition Assessment estimating rehabilitation and seismic upgrades to the 1924-built bridge for $23.6 million
- Commonwealth Historic Resource Management’s April 2009 Heritage Assessment of the Johnson Street Bridge identifying the 1924 bridge as a “very significant heritage landmark”
- MMM’s June 2010 Replacement and Rehabilitation Options presentation, increasing rehabilitation estimates to $80 million and replacement to $77 million
- Advicas Group’s June 2010 Class “C” Estimates detailing the increased replacement and rehabilitation costs
- Ipsos-Reid’s August 2010 Business and Residential Survey Results on the proposed rehabilitation and replacement options
- MMM’s March 2012 Johnson Street Bridge Project Update detailing the increased budget of $92.8 million
- Jonathan Huggett’s June 2014 Review of the Johnson Street Bridge Project examining its leadership problems, delays, design issues, and contractual liabilities
Although we hold a variety of views on what should happen with the bridge, the three of us came together because of shared convictions:
- that the City of Victoria’s political process to replace the bridge is seriously flawed;
- that there are alternatives to this process;
- that Victorians deserve much more of a say about the process for a project of this scope.
The current estimate for replacing the Johnson Street Bridge is $63 million
$77 million $92.8 million. But numbers are only the beginning.
There is much more at stake. We hope that you will explore this site, to learn how you can inform yourself and make your voice heard.
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