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New landmark lift bridge in Victoria Inner Harbour opens (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

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Kenneth Chan Apr 02, 2018 10:30 pm 3,126

After nearly five years of construction, the new Johnson Street Bridge in Victoria Inner Harbour is finally open and welcoming traffic.

Over the weekend, thousands of people attended the grand opening for the $105-million bridge, which links downtown Victoria with the Victoria West neighbourhood.

Johnson Street Bridge Victoria

The new Johnson Street Bridge, one of the world’s largest single-leaf bascule rolling bridges, opened to the public on March 31, 2018. (Bob Jestico / YouTube screenshot)

This is a project packed with superlatives: It is the City of Victoria’s largest infrastructure project to date, the largest single-leaf rolling lift bascule bridge in Canada, and one of the largest of its kind in the world.

The 46-metre-long bridge has three lanes for vehicles, on-road bike lanes, a multi-use pathway for pedestrians and cyclists, and a separated pedestrian-only pathway. In fact, over 50% of the bridge deck space is for pedestrians and cyclists.

When the bridge opens for marine traffic below in the harbour, a large section of the bridge deck rolls back on curved tread plates attached to the girders of the main span, which provides a greater clearance for boats and ships.

Johnson Street Bridge Victoria

The new Johnson Street Bridge, one of the world’s largest single-leaf bascule rolling bridges, opened to the public on March 31, 2018. (Bob Jestico / YouTube screenshot)

Johnson Street Bridge Victoria

The new Johnson Street Bridge, one of the world’s largest single-leaf bascule rolling bridges, opened to the public on March 31, 2018. (City of Victoria)

And during the nighttime hours, the bridge structure is bathed in blue light to illuminate the landmark, which can be seen from many view points around the harbour.

Johnson Street Bridge Victoria

The new Johnson Street Bridge, one of the world’s largest single-leaf bascule rolling bridges, opened to the public on March 31, 2018. (City of Victoria)

Johnson Street Bridge Victoria

The new Johnson Street Bridge, one of the world’s largest single-leaf bascule rolling bridges, opened to the public on March 31, 2018. (City of Victoria)

This crossing is one of the most important links into Victoria’s city centre. About 30,000 crossings – including vehicles, transit buses, pedestrians, and cyclists – are made on the existing 1924-built heel trunnion bascule bridge.

Although the new seismic-resilient bridge is now open, a few remaining elements that are part of the project are still being built, such as new public spaces on both ends of the bridge offering views of the harbour, new public plazas, and a new waterfront park in Victoria West.

Johnson Street Bridge Victoria

The new Johnson Street Bridge, one of the world’s largest single-leaf bascule rolling bridges, opened to the public on March 31, 2018. (Bob Jestico / YouTube screenshot)

Johnson Street Bridge Victoria

The new Johnson Street Bridge, one of the world’s largest single-leaf bascule rolling bridges, opened to the public on March 31, 2018. (City of Victoria)

As well, work will begin on April 15 to dismantle the existing bridge, which is located immediately south of the new bridge.

The replacement bridge originally had a $63-million budget and a completion date in September 2015.

Taken on the eve of the new bridge opening on Johnson Street.

A post shared by Mars Romer Photography (@mars_romer) on

Taken on the Eve of the Johnson Bridge grand opening

A post shared by Mars Romer Photography (@mars_romer) on

Out with the old and in with the new. Bye, Felicia! 👋🏻

A post shared by Brian Cant (@brianinvictoria) on

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Kenneth Chan
National Features Editor at Daily Hive, the evolution of Vancity Buzz. He covers local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation and infrastructure, and the travel industry. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]dailyhive.com

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