Monday, March 17, 2008


The Johnson Street Bridge was designed in 1920; it is a ‘Bascule’ bridge -- one end rises while a counter weight lowers on the opposite end to let marine traffic into the ‘Upper Harbour’ (where we live) here in Victoria. The Johnson Street Bridge has two separate Bascules, a railway section and a highway section. Joseph Strauss, of Strauss Bascule Company Limited, who held the patents on the design, later designed the Golden Gate.

The bridge’s superstructure contains 100 tons of steel, and the sub-structure contains 10,000 cubic yards of concrete. The counter-weight block weighs 780 tons, which balances the 350-ton opening span; two 75-horse electric motors power its ups and downs.
The bridge construction was completed (cost: just short of a million bucks) and opened in January, 1924. The original wood timber deck was replaced by steel grid decking in 1966.

In 1996 the Johnson Street Bridge starred in its first major motion picture, "Excess Baggage" starring Alicia Silverstone. During filming, the bridge was closed 12 hours a day for a week, and the pedestrians, cyclists and 30,000-odd daily vehicles had to use other routes through town.

The bridge has been in the new again the last couple of weeks ...
Blue glow proposed
Demolition Permit for buildings

But for me, it's just part of the 'neighborhood.' I can see it going up and down throughout the day -- a siren similar to a fire truck sounds first, which is great because I have time to stop whatever I'm doing and go up on the bridge (of our boat, that is) to see if anything interesting is coming in or going out!

1 comment:

Kate said...

Aw, this takes me home. We left Victoria five years ago, but I grew up there and my son was born there. Things like the Johnson St Bridge are what make it still a home to me - even if I don't recognize the skyline anymore!
(Kate from rockswavesbeach)