Port Mann Bridge Ice To Be Tackled By Cable Sweepers, Repellents

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A rendering of the cable sweepers that will be used to clear ice off the Port Mann Bridge. (B.C. Government)
A rendering of the cable sweepers that will be used to clear ice off the Port Mann Bridge. (B.C. Government)

VICTORIA - Several possible solutions have been announced for the ice buildup problem for Metro Vancouver's Port Mann Bridge, in hopes of preventing more so-called ice bombs from falling onto vehicles.

Just weeks after the official opening of the bridge last month, large chunks of ice fell from the bridge cables, damaging about 350 vehicles on the span linking Coquitlam and Surrey.

Now the B.C. government says engineers have found a few possible solutions to the problem, including a custom-designed cable sweeper and ice-repellent coatings to prevent ice buildup.

The sweeper would fit around the outside the cable and be lowered and raised along each of the 152 bridge cables by winch.

Four different types of de-icing solutions are being tested including something similar to those used on airplanes.

Mike Proudfoot, with the Transportation Investment Corp., which was formed for the construction of the bridge, says international experts were canvassed to come up with ways to keep the bridge operating safety.

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