Bridge to the Past

Friday, Feb. 24, marked the beginning of the end for an Inner Harbour icon as the rail portion of Victoria’s Johnson Street Bridge was removed.

The historic “Blue Bridge,” as it’s known, closed to all vehicle, cyclist, and pedestrian traffic around noon as workers severed its steel supports and a giant crane lifted it from its foundations and placed it on a barge.

Hundreds of onlookers gathered at the bottom of Swift Street to get a look at the complex operation, which appeared to go smoothly despite cold temperatures and pouring rain.

Once fully removed, the rail bridge will be transported to a local business in the Upper Harbour for recycling. The 500-tonne counterweight will be deconstructed on site over the next two weeks.

The City of Victoria has set up a webcam showing the progress of the bridge removal.

{advertisement} The Johnson Street Bridge was completed at a cost of $918,000 and opened in January 1924. On November 20, 2010, Victoria voters gave the city permission to borrow $49.2 million to replace the bridge. The total cost of the project is expected to be $77 million. 

To see what the new Johnson Street Bridge will look like, click here.