Crews are gearing up for more snow forecast to hit the Lower Mainland this afternoon followed by freezing rain.
Maintenance contractors have been out in advance of the winter storm, pushing back snowbanks, clearing catch basins, and spreading brine on the highways to prevent the build-up of compact snow.
Crews have also been spraying de-icing agent on the cross-beams of the Alex Fraser Bridge, and re-loading the cable collars ready for drops on the Port Mann Bridge, to prepare both bridges for safe travel. Close monitoring continues, and safety measures will be performed as necessary during the storm, such as snow-clearing cable collar drops on the Port Mann.
A helicopter remains on stand-by for the Alex Fraser, in case it is needed to blast the snow off the cables. If snow and ice accumulates on the cables and engineers determine there is a risk to public safety, the ministry will deploy the helicopter, which would result in a temporary bridge closure for 2-3 hours.
If deployed, the rotors would create strong gusts of wind to blast the snow accumulations off the cables. The helicopter can only be deployed during daylight hours.
Motorists should be aware of the possibility of lane closures on both bridges, as well as the potential for a full bridge closure of the Alex Fraser, if necessary to maintain public safety.
Metro Vancouver drivers are reminded to expect winter weather conditions on the roads, to drive carefully, to increase following distance to at least four seconds, and to check DriveBC for regular updates on their routes: www.drivebc.ca
The ministry will continue to keep the driving public informed of any traffic control activities via Twitter, DriveBC, and digital message signs.
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