The new Johnson Street Bridge deck is shown nearly in place, as seen from the approach to the old bridge late Sunday afternoon. Don Descoteau/Victoria News

New Johnson Street Bridge takes shape on Victoria’s harbour

Installation of bridge deck a slow but sure operation, old bridge closed Monday too

It was a slow process Sunday to hoist the 470-tonne bridge deck span in the air, swing it around and lower it into place against the giant rings previously installed for the new Johnson Street Bridge.

But by about 5 p.m., the deck sat illuminated, mostly lined up with its mated pieces, as a beautifully mottled, cloudy sky at sunset provided a colourful backdrop.

Onlookers gathered at various points on both sides of the harbour to watch the action through the day, which started just after 7 a.m. with the span perched on a barge a stone’s throw from the wintertime stable of the Victoria harbour ferries.

The rain that came in sheets at times sent crowd scrambling for cover, but as the wet stuff eased off the people came back out to watch the deck lifted in a sling by the barge-bound Dynamic Beast crane, and guided ever so subtly toward its final resting place.

More work will be done Monday on the project and it will require continued closure of the existing bridge. Commuter traffic will be rerouted over the Bay Street Bridge, which already sees congestion in the mornings. Drivers are asked to make considerations for timing and alternate routes.

RELATED: Winds cancel Johnson Street Bridge work for Saturday in Victoria

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