The City of Quesnel announced it has received $6 million through the Canada Community-Building Fund to use towards the Johnson Bridge renewal project.

The Johnston Bridge is one of the 45 projects across B.C. to receive funding from the Government of Canada for a total investment of $103.5 million. The funding is in addition to the permanent source of funding the City receives twice a year through the Canada Community-Building Fund.

“Strategic investments in transportation infrastructure help improve local roads and ensure communities remain connected. These essential upgrades to the Johnston Bridge mean that residents and visitors will be able to travel safely for years to come. Larger carrying capabilities will also enable the important export of commodities in the region and support economic development opportunities,” said Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada.

In October 2018, the City was made aware of the deterioration of the Johnston Bridge which lead to a temporary closure of all traffic. It was then re-opened with a 10-tonne weight restriction. Since then, the City has been working with inspection agencies and engineering professionals to assess its condition.

“The Johnston Bridge is an important asset to the community, and the upgrade will allow residents and businesses to use this route well into the future. With this grant funding and Council’s strategic budgeting, it is welcome news to many that this project is moving forward as the Johnston Bridge restoration posed a large financial challenge for the City,” said Mayor Ron Paull, City of Quesnel.

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This year, the City is finalizing the project designs and continuing to coordinate with Telus and Fortis Gas regarding planning and engineering for the removal/relocation of their utilities to complete bridge repairs.

This project will include the replacement of the bridge bearings, plates, light bracing, railing and sidewalk, along with structural repairs to the girders and cross bracing. The City will also replace a 50+-year-old watermain that crosses the bridge. This project is expected to take two years to complete; the utility removals and relocations in 2024 and the major bridge repairs in 2025.

“This bridge renewal is a major infrastructure project that involves large-scale planning and construction; receiving this grant funding allows us to continue working toward a 2025 completion date,” said Chris Coben, director of Capital Infrastructure, City of Quesnel.

The estimated cost of the entire project is approximately $11.4 million. The remaining funding ($5.4 million) for the project will come from the City’s Utility Reserve Funds and Capital Reinvestment Reserve. Repairing the Johnston Bridge will add an estimated 25 years of service life.

The Johnston Bridge serves as an important secondary crossing of the Quesnel River for emergency management as well as link utility infrastructure to Johnston Subdivision and beyond.

Featured image: (City of Quesnel)

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