Snow buildup forces closure of Alex Fraser Bridge
Concerns over a “snow buildup” have forced the closure of the Alex Fraser Bridge in Delta, a key route for people commuting to the Fraser Valley from Richmond and New West.
A statement from the BC Ministry of Transportation suggests the closure was to protect travellers.
High winds are a key reason for the closure.
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Windy conditions prevent rope technicians from deploying the drop system regularly used to clear the cables, increasing the likelihood that snow or ice could fall on vehicles below.
The cable-collar system involves maintenance crews climbing up the suspension bridge towers to drop chain-link collar rings around the cables manually. The gravity-driven motion of the collar removes the snow and ice.
#AlexFraserBridge is closed for public safety reasons. Due to high winds our rope techs are unable to deploy the drop system that normally clears the cables. Likelihood snow or ice may shed from the cables onto lanes. Conditions being closely monitored.https://t.co/tmRcrTJULl
— Lower Mainland Dist. (@TranBC_LMD) December 24, 2021
Crews are closely monitoring conditions, but the ministry doesn’t know when the bridge will be reopened. To make matters worse, there are three weather alerts currently in effect for Christmas Eve.
Earlier this month, multiple bridges were being prepared for icy conditions, including the Alex Fraser Bridge. The work was being done to prevent the likelihood of ice bombs.
With files from Kenneth Chan