May 16, 2012
Victoria bridge inches closer to construction
CITY OF VICTORIA
Three teams have been selected to compete in the Request for Proposal (RFP) to replace the Johnson Street Bridge in Victoria, B.C., which was recently dismantled using the largest barge and crane in Western Canada.
“This project is really big for our city,” said Greg Baynton, chief executive officer of the Vancouver Island Construction Association.
“This project is not only large, it is very complex and there are a lot of stakeholders involved. There are architectural and aesthetic concerns because of the bridge’s historic importance and its location in the harbor. There are also budget implications for the city due to the size of the project.”
The City of Victoria announced recently that eight teams submitted proposals and completed the pre-qualification process for the Johnston Street Bridge replacement project.
The following three teams, including the lead proponent and sub-contractors, were shortlisted:
PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc., and
Hardesty & Hanover
Robert J. Connor & Associates
D.L. McQuaid & Associates Inc.
Peter Kiewit Infrastructure Co. (Kiewit), and
EC Driver & Associates Inc.
Shannon & Wilson Inc.
WCC Construction Canada, ULC, and
Somerset Engineering/KWH Constructors
Farmer Construction Company
“As far as timing goes, it’s a buyers’ market,” said Baynton.
“The city couldn’t be tendering at a better time for getting the best value with the taxpayers’ money.”
The City of Victoria will issue a RFP later this month to the three successful firms, which will be invited to participate in a detailed engineering review of the bridge designs and submit indicative pricing in June.
They will also be asked to review the design during the preparation of their proposals and suggest any changes that will optimize the design of the new bridge and deliver the project on time and on budget.
The three firms will then submit a fixed price proposal, which will be evaluated by October 2012.
Construction of the new bridge is expected to create about 900 jobs and is scheduled to be complete by 2016.
On March 15, Victoria City Council voted to increase the estimated cost of replacing the Johnson Street Bridge to $92.8 million from $77 million.
According to a report written by Johnson Street Bridge project director Mike Lai, detailed design work identified scope changes that increased engineering and construction costs.
For example, as detailed design progressed, the consultant identified the need to relocate TELUS communication lines in the harbor.
This required the mobilization of a contractor for Marine Early Works, whereas the previous estimate was based on a single contract award.
Other additional construction costs identified by the consultant included: the construction of larger coffer dams to build the bridge foundations; a retaining wall to accommodate a future link to the Harbour Pathway and; increasing the size of bridge pier protection or fendering to accommodate larger vessels and barges.
The 2010 estimate didn’t include costs associated with the initial permitting and approvals in support of the successful federal funding application for $21 million.
Other costs not included in the initial estimate were the additional geotechnical work required for foundation design that was beyond the preliminary geotechnical work completed in 2009, and environmental monitoring required through the duration of the project to 2016.
The first major milestone in the replacement project took place on Feb. 22, when the Arctic Tuk – the largest barge and crane in Western Canada – was positioned in Victoria’s Inner Harbour.
“Amix Heavy Lift lifted the rail span portion of the Johnson Street Bridge by supporting it in the raised position, while the counterweight mechanism was disconnected, then lifted the entire 250-ton span from the crossing onto the heavy lift crane barge, Arctic Tuk, and then placed the span on shore further up the harbor,” said Clarke Longmuir, general manager of New Westminster-based Amix.
Longmuir said the prime contractor prepared the rail span for removal by setting up a bulldozer to assist in balancing the counterweight prior to disconnection.
The rail bridge and 500 ton counterweight were separated from the road bridge and carefully removed by the massive crane, which is mounted on a 105-metre-long barge and is capable of lifting 600 tonnes.
The contractor worked directly with marine users and the harbour master.
The barge filled the entire navigation channel under the bridge, which had to be closed.
The whole rail span removal project took five days.
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