A Bridge Far Too Icy

VANCOUVER — Canada’s newest bridge has dropped “ice bombs” onto its deck, damaging vehicles, injuring people and ringing up thousands in damages. And the B.C. Government has stated that the company that built the span is responsible for the damages.

According to local media sources, the new toll bridge that opened December 1 was closed last Wednesday for several hours and according to the CBC, B.C.’s Transportation Minister Mary Polak, drivers who were on the Port Mann between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Wednesday “will have their tolls waived and those that suffered vehicle damage will have their deductibles paid for them.”

On Thursday, the company that built the bridge, Kiewit-Flatiron General Partnership, issued the following statement: Kiewit is “very concerned about the recent weather issues and were working to identify and implement a solution as quickly as possible.

“The safety of the traveling public is and always will be of the utmost importance,” said the statement issued by Thomas C. Janssen, the company’s director of external affairs.

“With the recent severe weather conditions, it’s evident there is an issue that needs to be closely reviewed and addressed.”

According to the Globe and Mail, ice chunks fell from cables during a snowstorm, resulting in at least 100 insurance claims.

The Port Mann is the second-longest cable-supported span in the world. The $3.3 billion bridge is operated by The Transportation Investment Corporation, and the CEO of the corporation, Mike Proudfoot, said provisions had been made to avoid the build-up of ice on the cables but, according to the Globe and Mail, “It hasn’t transpired as expected,” he said.

Possible solutions to the problem include heating the cables, the use of vibrations or coatings, as well as manual and mechanical methods for removal, the Globe and Mail reported.

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