'Ice bomb' solution on way

The provincial government says safety improvements on the Lower Mainland's Alex Fraser Bridge should prevent "ice bombs" that damaged dozens of vehicles last winter.

But, it won't be in place until the new year.

Ice and slush falling off the bridge's cables resulted in about 80 ICBC claims last December at the Alex Fraser and Port Mann bridges.

A new cable-collar system will be installed in January on the bridge that links Richmond to Delta and Surrey.

Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena said the new cable-collar system "will help ensure the Alex Fraser Bridge stays open – regardless of the weather – so people can get to work on time." 

The B.C.-made collar system is similar to one that's already been installed on the Port Mann. 

The nearly 3,000 collars slide down the cables to clear ice and snow from them.

“Last winter, thousands of drivers were affected when snow and ice on the Alex Fraser Bridge’s cables forced some closures of this busy crossing,” said Delta North MLA Ravi Kahlon. "Adding a cable-collar system to clear snow and ice will vastly improve the reliability of the bridge."

The project is estimated to cost $5 million.

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