Construction of New Bridge to Begin this Summer

PCL Constructors Westcoast (PCL) have been awarded the contract to build the new Johnson Street Bridge for a fixed-price of $63,235,000. The contract is within the approved construction budget.

PCL was awarded the contract following a competitive process involving three world-class construction companies. In November, PCL's proposal ranked highest based on criteria outlined in the City's Request for Proposals. In November 2012, Council directed staff to proceed into negotiations for a fixed-price contract to construct the new Johnson Street Bridge.

The contract of $63.2 million includes the construction of a new bascule lift Johnson Street Bridge design to last 100 years and built to a lifeline seismic standard. The new bridge will include three vehicle lanes, on-road bike lanes, a multi-use trail for pedestrians and cyclists, and a pedestrian deck on the south side.

PCL's contract also includes decommissioning of the old Johnson Street Bridge once the new bridge is complete, construction of improved road alignments and traffic calming features on both sides of the bridge, installation of a signalized intersection at Harbour and Esquimalt Roads, widened sidewalks and pathways leading to the bridge with links to existing and future pathways and trails, public viewing and plazas areas on the east and west sides, and landscaping. In addition, PCL will also construct a retaining wall on the City's adjacent property on Harbour Road.

During the collaborative procurement process conducted over the past several months, proponents were invited to propose engineering optimizations that could reduce costs or risks and minimize impacts during construction. Six engineering optimizations are included in the contract. As a result of one engineering modification to the bascule wheel, it now allows pedestrians to walk through the wheel of the bridge when opening or closed.

PCL is the largest contracting organization in Canada, and the 6th largest in the United States. PCL has built large scale bridges across North America, including the Alex Fraser Bridge in Vancouver.

The overall budget for the replacement of the Johnson Street Bridge is $92.8 million. The Government of Canada is providing up to $37.5 million in funding towards the project, including $21 million from the Building Canada Fund and $16.5 million through Canada's Gas Tax Fund. The remaining bridge replacement costs are funded by the City of Victoria through reallocated capital budgets and electoral approved borrowing of up to $49.2 million.

PCL expects site work to begin this spring with construction of the new bridge completed in the fall of 2015. The project is expected to be fully completed by March 2016.

Construction of the new bridge is expected to generate approximately 900 jobs and benefit many local businesses. The Urban Development Institute estimates that this project will have economic benefits of approximately half a billion dollars.