It cost $5-million to keep the Port Mann Bridge open and clear of snow and ice this winter.
TI Corp’s Lia Sampson says that money was allocated towards the more than 25,000 cable collar drops conducted during the poor conditions.
“Certainly there was money spent to make sure that the safety was maintained and the bridge was kept open. All the crews are getting a lot of experience using this system and with that we’ve learned a lot.”
Sampson says by comparison, only $300,000 were spent on winter maintenance for the Port Mann last winter. She adds it’s important to remember this winter should be considered an aberration.
“Everybody in the Lower Mainland knows that this year was one of the stormiest and most unpredictable winters in years. Just to give it some perspective, we dropped five thousand collars since 2012, and this year we used 25,000.”
Even with the system in place, it was a challenging season for the bridge.
Around 10 vehicles had their windows smashed by so-called ice bombs in December, during the first serious snowfall of the year.
Sampson says it’s hard to predict the weather, but says the cable collar system remains the best method of action to clear the snow and ice.
Back in February, the Ministry of Transportation began testing a similar collar system on the Alex Fraser Bridge.
That span saw major ice bomb problems, with up to 30 vehicles damaged and multiple closures during bad weather.