Cable collars to clear ice and snow are being installed on the Alex Fraser Bridge. (Province of B.C.)

TRANSPORTATION

Less snow good news for Lower Mainland bridge costs

Province spent $3 million less clearing ice and snow off bridges

It was an easier year for provincial contractors clearing ice and snow from the Lower Mainland’s bridges this winter.

According to the transportation ministry, they spent $300,000 to clear ice and snow off the Alex Fraser Bridge and $1.7 million to clear it off the Port Mann Bridge.

That money translated to 758,000 litres of brine and 3,080 cubic metres of salt on the region’s highways and bridges this year.

That’s $700,000 less spent on the Alex Fraser, $2.3 million less spent on the Port Mann and 142,000 fewer litres of brine and 1,020 fewer cubic metres of salt all around than was used last winter.

READ: Province stockpiles extra snow clearing supplies for Lower Mainland

The province, which was harshly criticized last year for the more than 100 vehicles that claimed ice and snow damage from ‘ice bombs’ falling off the Alex Fraser and Port Mann bridges, had come prepared this year with 900,000 litres of brine and and more than 8,000 cubic metres of salt.

That was more than 1,000 per cent more salt and just over double the brine the province used during the 2015/16 winter season.

This winter, ICBC said there were only three claims of ice or snow damage on the Port Mann and Alex Fraser; one in December and two in February.

The province is spending $5 million to install cable collars, similar to those on the Port Mann Bridge, on the Alex Fraser.

As of the end of February, collars were installed on 80 cables and on Feb. 23, crews did a test drop that cleared about five centimetres of snow from the cables.

A transportation ministry spokesperson said that the bridge will be outfitted with 10 collars, one anchor and one stopper on each of its 192 cables by the end of March.


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