The north and south rings of the new Johnson Street Bridge, which were fabricated in China, are loaded onto the barge and are now on its way to Victoria. The first shipment of steel is expected to arrive in mid to late August. Contributed photo

First shipment of steel for Johnson Street Bridge en route to Victoria

The pieces are expected to arrive in mid to late August

The steel being used to construct the new Johnson Street Bridge is now on its way to Victoria.

The first shipment of steel pieces was recently loaded onto a barge in China, where the steel was being fabricated, and will travel down the Yangtze River to Shanghai, where it will be loaded onto a heavy lift ship and transported to Victoria.

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The shipment, which is expected to arrive in mid to late August, includes the north and south rings, the lower counterweight and the temporary structure used to support the various components of the bridge during its erection.

Once it arrives in Victoria, it will be offloaded at Ogden Point or at the Fraser Surrey Docks, depending on the local cruise ship schedule. It will then be transported to Point Hope Shipyard.

The second shipment of steel is expected to leave China in September and arrive in October.

Residents interested in tracking the progress of the steel across the Pacific Ocean can visit marinetraffic.com.

Last month, the completion date for the bridge was pushed back another three-and-a-half months to March 31, 2018 and the cost has since ballooned to $105 million.

kendra.wong@vicnews.com