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Trasport Ministry, ICBC dealing with fallout from falling ice on Lower Mainland bridges

Last Updated Jan 10, 2020 at 5:12 pm PST

FILE- A driver tells NEWS 1130 an ice bomb smashed in his windshield as he was crossing the Port Mann Bridge on Friday. (Submitted)

SURREY (NEWS 1130) — Drivers on both the Port Mann and Alex Fraser bridges faced problems with ice and slush falling from cables during Friday’s warm-up and recovery following an earlier snowfall.

With more snow and lower temperatures forecast, both bridges are being monitored by the Ministry of Transportation.

Ken Nash, the district manager for the Lower Mainland, says closures are more likely on the Alex Fraser than the Port Mann.

“We’re in a position where, due to high winds, we’re not able to release the cable collars manually. We’ll look to implement the lane closures on the outside lanes as the next step.”

He explains if the same weather conditions present themselves up in the coming days, it may not be safe for technicians to manually drop cable collars on the Alex Fraser.

Meanwhile, ICBC saw 67 claims filed in the immediate aftermath of Friday’s storm.

“Knowing that it’s the first big snowfall of the year — which hasn’t been really that big — it’s been a change in our weather and it’s been a change in people’s driving habits. We’re not surprised that we’ve got a number of claims,” says Joanna Bergman, Road Safety Coordinator with ICBC.

She says it’s too early to compare the number of claims to previous years or storms but says they are experiencing a spike in calls to their Dial-A-Claim line.

Both ICBC and the Ministry of Transportation are urging drivers to be prepared, plan ahead, and drive carefully.