Construction workers lift one of the 290-tonne steel rings for the new Johnson Street Bridge at the Point Hope Shipyard using the giant crane the Dynamic Beast on Friday morning. The rings are being placed onto the barge and will begin to be installed at the new bridge site Saturday. (Lauren Boothby/VICTORIA NEWS)

Construction workers lift one of the 290-tonne steel rings for the new Johnson Street Bridge at the Point Hope Shipyard using the giant crane the Dynamic Beast on Friday morning. The rings are being placed onto the barge and will begin to be installed at the new bridge site Saturday. (Lauren Boothby/VICTORIA NEWS)

Johnson Street Bridge’s steel rings, lower counterweight lifted into place over weekend

Victoria’s downtown bridge had been projected to look almost done by Christmas

By the end of the weekend, the new Johnson Street Bridge will start taking shape in its new home.

The Dynamic Beast, a giant crane capable of lifting over 800 metric tonnes, began lifting the 290-tonne steel rings on to the barge Friday morning at Point Hope Shipyard in Victoria West. Saturday morning, the crane will position itself under the existing bridge, closing off the waterway, and lift the lower counterweight into place, followed by the north ring. The south ring will be lifted and installed on Sunday before the crane barge heads back to Vancouver, and the crane will return in February to lift the main span where it will be bolted in place.

In October, project manager Jonathan Huggett, said the rings could be in place by Nov. 10 for the $105-million bridge. In August, he said the bridge would “look almost complete” by Christmas. The bridge is expected to be open to the public in March after many delays.

On Friday he said the public should plan to use alternative routes over the weekend, as the bridge will be inaccessible for several hours at a time. But putting these large steel components into place is a major step forward, something Huggett is excited to see.

“It’s a big visual step. For the first time, people are going to start seeing the pieces of the bridge in their final location,” he said. “It’s exciting: you train for this all your life, you put projects together like this, and it’s a high point in any engineer’s career to do this.”

MORE STORIES on the Johnson Street Bridge replacement

The process cannot be rushed, Huggett added.

“Nobody’s going to lift anything down here until they’re absolutely ready. All safety concerns are done, so they’ll wait their time to lift it properly.”

Such details as the angle of the steel parts, the location of each component on the barge, to the direction of workers pulling their ropes has been carefully calculated over the last five months.

“When you do major lifts in construction, you take enormous care,” Huggett said. “This whole thing is choreographed. They’ll make it look simple, because these guys are professionals. They know what they’re doing, but you don’t do it easily.”

Huggett has suggested Mermaid Wharf as the best spot for the public to watch the work take place over the weekend.

Updated lift schedule:

  • Saturday: 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. – crane barge will position itself under the existing bridge and lift the lower counterweight; 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – north ring lifted into place
  • Sunday: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – crane barge lifts south ring into place and departs

lauren.boothby@vicnews.com

Johnson Street bridge

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Construction workers lift one of the 290-tonne steel rings for the new Johnson Street Bridge at the Point Hope Shipyard using the giant crane the Dynamic Beast on Friday morning. The rings are being placed onto the barge and will begin to be installed at the new bridge site Saturday. (Lauren Boothby/VICTORIA NEWS)

Construction workers lift one of the 290-tonne steel rings for the new Johnson Street Bridge at the Point Hope Shipyard using the giant crane the Dynamic Beast on Friday morning. The rings are being placed onto the barge and will begin to be installed at the new bridge site Saturday. (Lauren Boothby/VICTORIA NEWS)

Just Posted

Carolyn Howe, a kindergarten teacher and vice president of the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association, says educators are feeling the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic and the influx of pressure that comes with it. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Stress leave, tears and insomnia: Greater Victoria teachers feel the strain of COVID-19

One year in, teachers still adjusting to mask and cleaning rules, pressure from families

The value of new construction in North Saanich topped $52.1 million in 2020 (Peninsula News Review)
Value of new construction in North Saanich topped $52.1 million in 2020

New figures also show 25 per cent increase in number of new secondary suites

A wind warning is in effect for Greater Victoria Thursday afternoon. (Black Press Media file photo)
Strong winds predicted for Greater Victoria

Environment Canada issues warning for Thursday afternoon

Richard Pierce is the Goldstream Gazette’s 2021 Unsung Hero of the Year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Navy veteran helping others cope with post-traumatic stress disorder

Rich Pearce is the West Shore 2021 Unsung Hero

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

When his owner had knee surgery, Kevin, 2, was able to continue to go for walks thanks to volunteers from Elder Dog Canada. (Contributed photo)
B.C. woman has nothing but praise for Elder Dog Canada

National organization has a fleet of volunteer walkers ready, but needs more clients to serve

A Nanaimo RCMP vehicle in the Woodgrove Centre parking lot. (News Bulletin file photo)
Woman groped by stranger in mall parking lot in Nanaimo

Incident happened near bus loop Saturday, Feb. 20, at about 4:45 p.m.

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Most Read