Johnson Street Bridge may not get fendering system

With the new Johnson Street Bridge now open -- there is still some work left to do -- like adding the public plazas, possible art work, and the fendering to protect the new bridge from ship strikes.  All of that will add more cost to the now $105.6-million project, with the fendering alone forecast at anywhere between $4 and $10-million.

But Project Manager Jonathan Huggett told CFAX 1070's Mark Brennae the fendering may not be installed at all:

Huggett: " We've talked in the past about fendering. You know fendering is one of those issues, does it need to be done? You've got, you know, if it's a lot of money, is it money well-spent? Those kinds of issues, we're still wrestling with that."

Brennae:  " So is there a chance that there'll be no fendering put on this?"

Huggett: "That's certainly one option out there."

A letter from Seaspan Marine to the city's engineering department -- leaked last year -- revealed the company has serious concerns over things like the bridge design and other factors increasing the risk of collisions for barges.

Huggett says the city has to balance risk vs. expenditure, and is looking at various options.  However he notes the vessels are skippered by experienced mariners, there have been no head-on strikes involving the bridge in the past, and with the old bridge's concrete supports staying in place those will provide collision-protection. 


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