Construction begins on Tuesday, May 21, on the Point Ellice Bridge, more commonly known as the Bay Street Bridge. (Black Press Media file photo)

Bay Street Bridge construction begins today

Point Ellice Bridge will be closed to eastbound vehicle traffic until October

Construction will begin on Tuesday on the Point Ellice Bridge, more commonly known as the Bay Street Bridge.

The bridge will be closed to eastbound vehicle traffic (towards downtown) until approximatley the end of October. According to the City of Victoria, the closure is necessary to safley complete comprehensive upgrades to the bridge to ensure it serves the community in the future.

The City said in order to minimize the overall disruption to the public and project costs, numerous maitnenance activities are planned to occur above and below the bridge deck. Above, the asphlat roadway will be removed and repairs will be made to the concrete deck and the ashphalt will be replaced. The railings will also be removed and repainted.

READ ALSO: City of Victoria opens bids for repair of Bay Street Bridge

Under the bridge, the existing lead paint will be removed and all of the structural steel will be repainted. Works will also be undertaken to minimize future corrosion of the steel to keep the bridge up to standards.

The work is part of the 2019 Capital Works Program to renew aging city roads and sidewalk for current and future needs.

The City of Victoria appointed the winning tender, Seismic 2000, to take on the $6.1 million project. The federal and provincial governments are paying $2.4 million, while the rest is coming from the city’s infrastructural funding reserves.

“If you are a pedestrian you will be able to travel in both directions, and cyclists can use the eastbound direction but they will have to get off the bike and walk across,” said Philip Bellefontaine, City of Victoria assistant director of transportation.

Waterway traffic will not be affected.

READ ALSO: Motorists delayed, attitudes not changed at Johnson St. bridge occupation

Alternative traffic routes to access Vic West and Esquimalt will include the continued use of the Johnson Street Bridge, as well as Tillicum and Admirals roads.

BC Transit services have already been rerouted to avoid the Bay Street corridor, and emergency responders have also been consulted about alternative routes.

Noise should not be a large issue during the project.

“We do acknowledge there’s going to be an impact,” Bellefontaine said. “Part of our approach is to make sure we give the travelling public as much information as possible ahead of time.”



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

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