Remember in 2009 when Victoria City Council promised us a new Johnson Street Bridge would be a $63 million project, of which $21 million would be from the Federal government? The city moved far too quickly on a major capital project with too many unknowns before shovels hit the ground.
Flash forward to 9 years later and the bridge is finally open after years of delays and a price tag approaching $110 million. That figure of course does not cover the cost of fendering on the north side and public realm amenities which is not yet complete. Excluding federal funds, the costs paid directly by Victoria tax payers so far add up to around $800 for each of the city's 85,000 residents. The bridge's unnecessarily one-of-a-kind lift mechanism and the catwalk that recently opened added what is estimated to have been an additional $20 million in design, engineering, and fabrication costs.
Many of those responsible for the project mismanagement and cost overruns are now getting ready to tackle the Crystal Pool replacement project. That's why I am supporting the call for an independent audit on the Johnson Street Bridge fiasco.