Blue Bridge blues

April 23, 2009 at 11:30 pm | In johnson street bridge, victoria | 3 Comments

An interrupted week was interrupted even more when I attended this morning’s Committee of the Whole meeting, to listen to city councilors debate the merits of rehabbing v. replacing Victoria’s storied Johnson Street Bridge (aka “The Blue Bridge”), a bascule bridge designed and built by Joseph Strauss in 1924. Strauss also built the Golden Gate Bridge.

In the end, with plenty of encouragement from the Engineering department, which led the presentation, council voted yes on a motion to proceed with the option to replace the bridge.

The problem is, of course, that no one – and I mean no one – has any idea what to replace it with, and that we may well end up with an ugly-bland bridge that looks like an off-ramp bought at Walmart.

But the boys in engineering want to …well, engineer. They said as much, noting that one of the truly biggest challenges in rehabbing the old bridge will be (are you ready for this?) painting it. Yep, painting it. It would have to be wrapped, to prevent solvents and contaminants from entering the harbor, and wrapping it would slow traffic, etc., so painting is a really big problem.

And tearing it down and replacing it with a new bridge is not, because…? Why, exactly?

I’m beyond tired and can’t add links to this post right now, nor include the long email I wrote at 1am last night (today?) to council, stating my piece that I’d like to see the bridge rehabbed.

But stay tuned, I’m not done with this topic yet.


  1. Hmm, very interesting.

    I’m certainly interested to hear what led to this decision. I’ve never felt that the bridge was particularly lacking. Is it considered a hazard or something? Or are we just looking to throw money at something?


    Comment by Adam — April 24, 2009 #

  2. I’ll write some more about it later. Right now, it looks like it’s driven by money – there’s Federal money available, and there’s a time-limit to how long it’s on offer. It doesn’t seem like the best way to plan anything, though.

    Comment by Yule — April 24, 2009 #

  3. […] When I was at yesterday’s Committee of the Whole at City Hall, I listened to the City’s engineers talk about cars and vehicular traffic, and how it relates to the question of whether or not to keep Victoria’s Johnson Street Bridge (also known as the Blue Bridge). […]

    Pingback by » Notes: Traffic volume, hormone levels Yule Heibel’s Post Studio © 2003-2009 — April 24, 2009 #

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