Port Mann and Alex Fraser bridges could close due to snowstorm

Jan 6 2022, 12:54 am

The BC Ministry of Transportation is warning that both the Port Mann and Alex Fraser bridges could be closed if winds pick up alongside the snow and freezing rain in tonight’s forecast.

If Wednesday evening’s Metro Vancouver snowstorm delivers on the hype, highway closures might also be necessary.

This wouldn’t be unprecedented, since as recently as Christmas Eve, a snow buildup led to the closure of the Alex Fraser bridge.

The Alex Fraser Bridge is a key route between Richmond and New Westminster and North Delta. Meanwhile, the Port Mann is a key route between Coquitlam and Surrey.

A statement from the ministry reveals the key issue.

“Under normal conditions, the ministry uses a cable-collar system to remove snow that builds up on the cables of the Alex Fraser and Port Mann bridges so traffic can safely pass. However, high winds can increase the shedding of snow and pose a risk to the rope technicians. This prevents them from deploying the system.”

This was the same problem that impacted the Alex Fraser bridge on Christmas Eve.

“The ministry and its maintenance contractors closely monitor conditions when snow and cold temperatures are in the forecast. On provincial highways across the Lower Mainland, maintenance contractors are proactively applying anti-icing brine, and plows are mobilized to quickly deal with any accumulation of snow.”

The ministry hasn’t stated which highways could be impacted if the weather gets severe.

You can see how the cable-collar system is used in the video below:

If you were hoping to avoid potential traffic delays, your best bet is to find an alternative route.

Amir AliAmir Ali

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