UPDATED at 7:35 pm: The Alex Fraser Bridge has partially reopened with two lanes in both directions. The right and centre lanes are now open while the outside lanes are closed as a precaution from falling ice and snow.
The provincial government closed the Alex Fraser Bridge in both directions late Sunday afternoon due to “winter conditions,” marking the third time of such a closure this winter season.
Access to one of the busiest bridges in Metro Vancouver was shut down at approximately 4:30 pm when the risk of falling snow and ice from the suspension bridge cables grew.
— Drive BC (@DriveBC) February 6, 2017
Traffic on the bridge is being diverted to the George Massey Tunnel, however, traffic is very light with no congestion, likely because many residents across the region have opted to stay at home.
There is no estimated time for when the Alex Fraser Bridge will reopen. Earlier in the week, the Ministry of Transportation said it was testing a gravity-propelled, collar-drop system to remove snow and ice from the suspension bridge cables. This system is similar to the one used for the Port Mann Bridge, which requires special crews to manually drop the collars from the top of the bridge piers.
As a last resort, the provincial government is also considering contracting a private helicopter to blow snow and ice off the cables.
Environment Canada declared a snowfall warning for Metro Vancouver earlier this afternoon. Up to another 15 cm can be expected by late tonight.