Ice bombs have hit several cars

Ministry to use chopper as temporary solution for snow clearing on Alex Fraser Bridge

In order to minimize closures due to falling "ice bombs," a heavy-lift helicopter will be used to blow the snow off the bridge's cables.

With more snow in the forecast for this weekend, government engineers have settled on a novel plan to minimize further weather-related closures of the Alex Fraser Bridge: using a helicopter to blow the snow away.

According to a press release issued Friday afternoon by B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, in the event that snow and ice accumulates and engineers determine there is a risk to public safety, a heavy-lift helicopter will be deployed whose rotors will create strong blasts of wind that will blow the snow accumulations off of the cables.

The helicopter is only a temporary solution as the ministry works on developing a longer-term solution.

Last week, the province’s engineers had to close the Alex Fraser Bridge two times due to snow and ice falling from the bridge’s cables. Both times, the bridge was closed for over four hours, delaying motorists and adding congestion to other routes.

It’s estimated using a helicopter to blow the snow off the cables should reduce the inconvenience by cutting closure times to about two or three hours while the work is being done to clear the snow.

The press release says a combination of factors led to the Alex Fraser Bridge closures on Saturday, Dec. 10, and on Monday. Dec. 12.

First, a large amount of snow accumulated on the cables, then the cycling of temperatures and wind direction increased the likelihood of shedding snow and ice. Most years, there is very little snow or the snow blows off without accumulating.

Meanwhile on the Port Mann Bridge, crews have been performing multiple snow-clearing drops on the bridge’s 288 cables and traffic has been flowing safely and smoothly on this bridge as a result. Over the weekend, crews will continue these snow-clearing drops as necessary.

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.ca for regular updates on their routes.

The ministry will also continue to keep the driving public informed of any traffic control activities via Twitter, DriveBC and digital message signs.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Signs at a new COVID-19 testing and collection centre at 14577 66th Ave. in Surrey. It was relocated from an urgent primary care centre near Surrey Memorial Hospital. This new centre allows for up to 800 tests per day, which is 550 more than the previous centre, according to Fraser Health. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
More than 200 new COVID-19 cases linked to Fraser Health region: Dr. Henry

Provincial health officer appeals to people to keep gatherings small

Reni Masi file photo
Former Surrey school trustee, Delta MLA dies at age 87

Reni Masi served as Liberal MLA for nine years, then as a Surrey school trustee for another nine

A driver pulls up to the new COVID-19 testing and collection centre at 14577 66th Ave. in Surrey. It was relocated from an urgent primary care centre near Surrey Memorial Hospital. This new centre allows for up to 800 tests per day, which is 550 more than the previous centre, according to Fraser Health. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Weddings, funerals have ‘potential to become a super-spreader’ event: Fraser Health

As of Oct. 21, health authority accounted for 70% of total provincial cases

The White Birch proposal for a six-storey rental-only building for 1485 Fir St. (at the corner of Fir Street and Russell Avenue) will proceed to a public hearing on Nov. 23, following a split vote at White Rock council. Contributed rendering
White Rock 80-unit rental-only project goes to public hearing

Six-storey, mid-rise building planned to boost affordable housing stock

Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)
Ryan Reynolds text almost gives away Shuswap boy’s birthday surprise

Deadpool actor helps remind eight-year-old Canoe resident he’s not alone

Vancouver police reactivated the search for Jordan Naterer Thursday Oct. 22. Photo courtesy of VPD.
Mom of missing Manning Park hiker believes her son is waiting to come home

‘He’s going to come out of a helicopter and say ‘what took you so long?”

Environment Minister George Heyman, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announce that B.C. Hydro is proceeding with construction of the Site C dam, Dec. 11, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Site C actions, costs won’t be known until after B.C. election, Horgan says

Peace River diverted for construction of reinforced dam base

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)
Squirrels recovering from tail amputation after sap situation near Victoria

BC SPCA Wild ARC says squirrels will be released back into wild, fifth sibling was euthanized

Most Read