RON STEFIK ON JOSEPH STRAUSS’ JOHNSON STREET BRIDGE: ‘This bridge was built to last, with decades of remaining life’




Re: Council rethinks plans for fix to blue bridge (Victoria News, Feb. 19)


I have to question just how much thinking is actually going on.

There is a concern that this bridge might not withstand a major earthquake.

A quake of sufficient magnitude to cause major structural bridge damage would collapse so many Victoria buildings that the bridge would be the least of our concerns.

This bridge was built to last, with decades of remaining life.

We live with risks every day, whether we realize it or not.

Let’s face it, a bridge project is a lot sexier than sewer or water line replacement.

But a new bridge is not a priority for the City.

Prudent fiscal planning, and the miracle of compounding interest, could spread out the costs to a very manageable tax level as a dedicated replacement fund is built over the coming years.

The current bridge deck is underutilized. 

It is possible to build-up the deck area around the existing train tracks for bicycle lands without impacting train use.

This could be accomplished for less than the cost of the proposed study.

Is someone concerned that the infrequent slow train will start mowing down swaths of cyclists on the bridge?

Mixed use for this hardly used lane is common sense.

Or perhaps uncommon in Council chambers…

A partial reason for the voter revolt was to see a fiscally responsible Council, not one that is prepared to throw money at the issue until study goals and results can be manipulated to vindicate their original decision for replacement.


Ron Stefik



CCC BLOG reprint:

Victoria News:

More spending than thinking on bridge

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Page A9




2 Responses to RON STEFIK ON JOSEPH STRAUSS’ JOHNSON STREET BRIDGE: ‘This bridge was built to last, with decades of remaining life’

  1. Dolores says:

    Re: More spending than thinking

    The accomplished Joseph Strauss, designer of our Johnson Street bridge and chief engineer of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco must surely be spinning in his grave.
    Would the Golden Gate bridge be considered for demolition? Not likely. It is as much a landmark of San Francisco as the Johnson Street bridge is to Victoria.
    Rather, the city should instead, be preparing to celebrate the Johnson St. bridge’s 100th anniversary as the people of Whitby in Yorkshire England have done with the Swing bridge there.
    The train does not need to travel to a dead end on the other side of the bridge to the questionable whistle or tune of multi-million dollars.
    The station could be situated where it originally stood at Catherine and Esquimalt or at the old round house area on the Vic West side of the waterway, where there is plenty of parking and residents who might use the train.
    Tourists would no doubt enjoy a water ferry trip to and from the Lime Bay area, or a stroll along the Songhees walkway or present bridge to get there.
    The current station would make a great stop for a quick bite to eat and/or souvenirs along the way.
    Mayor Dean Fortin needs to do the right thing and give this decision to the people of Victoria, rather than before a table of highly paid engineering consultants and councilors who don’t care about our city or it’s heritage.
    Get on with what the people are asking Mayor Fortin. Repair the Johnson Street bascule bridge, preserve it’s history and honor Joseph Strauss.
    Then let’s celebrate it’s 100th anniversary instead of reducing it to scrap and losing a piece of Victoria’s history and character forever.

  2. goyodelarosa says:


    Thanks for your comments which I believe express the will of the vast majority of Victoria’s informed concerned citizens on the fate of Joseph Strauss’ only bascule bridge in Victoria.

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