Funding for Johnson Street bridge should be flexible

Federal government needs to understand specifics rather than force rushed project

There is a danger in making assumptions regarding the Federal Building Canada funding of the Johnson Street Bridge replacement project.

Proponents of a unique, experimental and expensive architectural design have stated that there is a deadline for completion that, if missed, will result in Canada’s withdrawal of this funding. I find this statement of an immovable deadline hard to believe.

Victoria city councillors have been pressured to accept substantial budget increases by the proponents who have used this deadline argument to rush the project through.

This infrastructure project is by far the largest the City of Victoria has ever attempted.

By late-June, three contractors will begin the proposal and bidding process.

It is very likely that the costs will escalate beyond the approved budget and so it is imperative that council be prepared to make hard decisions regarding the design, and whether to simplify it and adopt a more conventional tried-and-true variety to reduce the costs and risks.

Answering these simple questions would be greatly appreciated by councillors and taxpayers: Can this funding deadline be extended? If so, what would the procedure be to extend this deadline?

If we do not have definitive answers to these questions, then the city will be at a disadvantage when any unforeseen circumstances arise that delay the project.

If there is no cause for concern and the grant deadline is indeed extendable, then the project is being unnecessarily rushed, which will likely cause increased costs and human error.

I have written to Denis Lebel, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and Victoria MP Denise Savoie hoping for answers.

Andrew Laks

Victoria

Just Posted

‘More animals could have a chance:’ Victoria Humane Society in desperate need of a home

Animal rescue currently has 163 animals in foster and volunteer homes

Free-B Film Festival celebrates 20th anniversary

Head to Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park to see some family favourites on the big screen

Central Saanich accused of not following Climate Emergency declaration with urgent action

Motion to research climate response options and costs rejected then rescheduled in tense meeting

Join North Saanich invasives removal and experience three key benefits

Friends of North Saanich Parks says July 27 clear-up will be rewarding as well as green

Esquimalt gives six-storey rental complex the green light

A new apartment building is set to go up on Admirals Road

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read