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Port Mann Bridge is open

SURREY (NEWS1130) – The new Port Mann Bridge is open

It was closed for most of the afternoon after reports of large ice chunks falling from the bridge.

Several callers to the newsroom said large chunks of snow and ice smashed the hoods and windshields of their vehicles as they drove across the bridge.

“I’ve been sitting on the Port Mann for 45 minutes. There’s huge hunks of ice and snow falling off the wires and I’m sitting here with a convertible roof. I’m worried one is going to come through the roof,” describes one woman.

“Wow, that was a big chunk! If that had hit my windshield, it would have gone right through. I’m getting pummeled here, on the bridge, by these chunks of snow coming off it,” says one woman, also trapped in traffic on the Port Mann Bridge.

It’s not only the Port Mann Bridge where this is happening. This man drove through a similar situation on the Alex Fraser Bridge. “Halfway past the bridge up there, all this snow is falling down, and big chunks just hit the middle of the windshield and it’s hard to see at the moment.” He says the size of the chunks are significant. “I would say when they’re coming down, they’re probably about a foot long and all of a sudden, smash, in the side of the car and the windshield.”

RCMP Sgt. Peter Thiessen said the ice has damaged several vehicles and even injured one motorist, who needed an ambulance. High winds and a thick blanket of snow covered much of Metro Vancouver after it blew in during the morning commute, causing ferry cancellations, school closures and traffic headaches.

The second storm in as many days also knocked out power for about 18,000 customers in Metro Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island.

ICBC has fielded 60 claims today related to the Port Mann bridge. Adam Grossman says some of those claims are the result of regular accidents on the bridge.

“Some of those will be due likely to the snow and ice that was falling from the bridge, but there could be some other contributing factors as well.”