Metro Vancouver drivers are being advised that work is well underway to prepare the Alex Fraser and Port Mann bridges for the snowfall expected this afternoon.
Drivers should be prepared for winter conditions and possible delays.
The ministry and TI Corp have brought in additional crews to the Metro Vancouver area, in advance of the winter weather conditions, in order to fully prepare the bridges for safe travel. Drivers will see crew members performing precautionary safety measures. Traffic control personnel may also put lane closures in place depending on travel conditions and work underway.
Crews have applied anti-icing solution on the crossbeams of the Alex Fraser Bridge’s towers, and will repeat this application throughout the day and evening. The anti-icing fluid will reduce the chance that ice and snow will build up on the crossbeams overhead.
As crews work to ensure the safest possible conditions for those driving over the Alex Fraser Bridge, travellers are advised that temporary lane closures may have to go into effect. This would occur if heavy and wet snow accumulates on the bridge cables and ministry staff feel it could damage cars travelling on the outside lanes.
Crews will be closely monitoring the bridge throughout the day and evening, and if conditions get too severe, they may temporarily close the bridge for safety reasons. Motorists are encouraged to check DriveBC, which will be regularly updated with information on the crossing.
The Port Mann Bridge has a snow removing system – the only system of its kind in the world, demonstrating the ministry’s commitment to keeping the bridge clear and safe during a snow storm. Chain link collars are fitted to each of the bridge’s 288 cables. Collars are dropped one-at-a-time to dislodge snow accumulation.
In preparation for this afternoon’s anticipated snowfall on the Port Mann Bridge, the ministry’s snow and ice technicians have been working to reload the collars from the bottom of the cables after Monday’s snowfall. As snow collects on the cables, crews will be conducting frequent collar drops throughout the day and evening to clear any snow.
Please be advised that because temperatures are expected to hover around freezing conditions, the snow could be heavy and wet. In an extended snow storm, or if conditions require it, engineers may decide to implement metered, or alternating traffic, to provide crews with necessary time and space to work. The additional crews, the cable collar system and possible lane control on the Port Mann Bridge are all part of the ministry’s efforts to prevent any closures on the bridge.
The ministry will keep the driving public informed via Twitter, DriveBC, and digital message signs. Traffic control personnel may also be on site directing traffic.
Drivers are reminded to adjust their driving to the winter conditions they encounter. This includes slowing down, increasing following distance to at least four seconds, and using extra caution.
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