City Manager Must Publicly Explain Budget Delay
Documents recently obtained by johnsonstreetbridge.org show that in August 2011, the City of Victoria’s finance department warned the Johnson Street Bridge steering committee, chaired by City Manager Gail Stephens, that at least $5.2 million in unbudgeted costs faced the project. But City staff didn’t tell elected officials about those missing costs for seven months — and, despite this information, in October 2011 Stephens publicly declared the bridge was still “within the budget of $77 million”, a month before a civic election. Read all about it HERE, and tell councillors that Stephens must provide a written, public explanation for the delay and her statement.
City Reveals PCL Bridge Deal
In a closed meeting on December 31, Victoria Council approved a contract with Vancouver-based PCL to build the new Johnson Street Bridge. On January 7, the City released some of the details. The $63.2-million deal is within the City’s budget, and PCL’s redesign eliminates some obvious problems with the lift mechanism. But a lot of steel has been replaced with concrete, and the design is “boxier” than before. The price tag also doesn’t cover unforeseen geotechnical issues, changing steel quantities, utility relocations, some redesign costs or a new retaining wall — and the bascule span will be built abroad, diminishing claims that the project will generate hundreds of local jobs. Read more HERE.
Current Estimate for the New Bridge: $92.8 Million
In March 2012 Victoria councillors reluctantly approved a staff recommendation increasing the budget for the new Johnson Street Bridge to $92.8 million, up $15.8 million from the $77 million calculated in June 2010. Download the staff report HERE, watch video of the meeting HERE, and then go to our page HERE and tell us what you think of the revised budget.
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
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.
We blog (and invite you to leave comments, please); we have a culture page, a media page, a poll where we invite you to vote, and a newsletter to which we invite you to subscribe. And we have lots of additional links from other websites for you to explore. Welcome, and click on!
How to Get Informed and Involved
Subscribe to our email updates, to get the latest bridge news, instantly and every time it is published on this website. See “Blue Bridge News!” on the left sidebar to sign up.
Contact Us with your comments, opinions and suggestions. We welcome your feedback.Tweet