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Port Mann Bridge closed in both directions due to falling ice and snow; two people injured

Global News : Wednesday, December 19, 2012 12:00 AM

The new billion-dollar Port Mann Bridge has been closed in both directions indefinitely due to falling ice and snow.

There are reports two people have been injured, and approximately five vehicles have been hit.

"The closure was necessary because falling ice from the bridge injured a motorist who required ambulance attendance, and damaged vehicles," said Sergeant Peter Thiessen, spokesperson for LMD Traffic Services in a release. "The bridge was closed for safety reasons, and will be re-opened as soon as the weather situation improves."

Global News has received several tweets from drivers saying that “ice bombs” have been falling and causing serious damage to their vehicles.

Catherine was a passenger in her work vehicle driving across the Port Mann Bridge when a chuck of ice hit the back of the vehicle. "Suddenly there was a big smash," she said. "I think it's just dented on the roof. It was crazy."

She said cars were stopped everywhere on the bridge as well.

Other motorists have had their windshields smashed, hoods dented and mirrors damaged.

Drive BC is advising commuters to take alternate routes such as the Patullo Bridge or the Golden Ears Bridge until an assessment can be completed.

Read it on Global News: Global BC | Port Mann Bridge closed in both directions due to falling ice and snow; two people injured

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Recalling SkyTrain fail due to snow.

Snow and ice are regularly overlooked aspects in engineering. Basically, there was no way they could tell that this was going to be a problem beforehand. But they sure will be paid a lot in order to fix the problem pronto. Not a good way to spend Christmas though.

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No can do. It's in the way of the remaining lanes bridge approaches. They have to remove the old bridge to install them.

Also you can bet that recycling the bridge (which has a lot of steel in it) is part of the contract. That would be a big $$$ item to the contractor. Randomly taking it out of the contract would be a massive change.

Basically your looking at the world's biggest change order (at the last minute to boot). No way that happens. Try to force it and this ends up in court with construction halted until it's resolved many, many years into the future.

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I suspect that some sortof steel mesh will be affixed directly underneath the freezing points in question, then whatever falls off will be caught so it can melt.

Either that or the shape of whatever is catching the ice will be changed so it can't accumulate.

Worst case they'd run electric heat up there to keep it from freezing up during these times.

All solutions aren't great to work on, given the location. Hope for non-freezing weather in the meantime.

Umm best way to solve this would not to be having cables over the traveled portion of the bridge. Kind of hard to retrofit that.

If I was the bridge guys I would just eat the claims for damage and whatever the penalty is for not having the bridge open when this kind of freeze up happens every couple years.

Though it's safe to say there will be lawyers involved before (and if) anything gets fixed for real.

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