The Alex Fraser bridge has reopened after being completely closed due to concerns about falling ice and snow.
Executive Director of Highways, Norm Parkes, said it was a precaution due to snow accumulated overnight.
“We had some snow overnight as everybody on the Lower Mainland knows, and it collected on the cables at Alex Fraser. There’s a bit of an inversion at the bridge which means it’s warmer up high than it is down on bridge level and so we’ve started to see snow fall straight down off the cables,” he said.
Earlier this afternoon, the right lanes in both directions had been closed to address the issue.
So-called “Ice Bombs” are a concern on both the Alex Fraser and Port Mann Bridges with dozens of related damage claims called in to ICBC.
Parkes says the design of the bridge is not to blame – it’s the weather.
“They use them around the world, in much snowier climates than we have. This bridge, because the cables are outside the lanes, there is less risk. It has to be a combination of lots of snow and ice up on the cables, warming temperature and wind for it to blow over,” he said.
Monday’s snow is done, for the most part, but now we’ll dip into the deep freeze with the overnight low Tuesday into Wednesday at minus nine degrees.
ICBC adjusters say a few dozen claims are being blamed on snow and ice falling from local bridges.
Spokesperson Sam Corea says of the more than 4,300 calls they’ve received last Monday, 30 were about damage on the Alex Fraser bridge – 10 complaints about the Port Mann.
Parkes says so far, there have been no reports of damage today.