Keeping motorists safe and goods moving on the Alex Fraser Bridge this winter

Alex Fraser Bridge as viewed from the east.
Photo by Rattan Mall

STARTING early in the New Year, the Alex Fraser Bridge will be safer and more reliable, thanks to a new cable collar system that the British Columbia government will install.

“Our government is making investments that will make life easier for people and their families,” said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena. “This 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.”

This cable collar system is manufactured and designed in British Columbia and is similar to the one currently used to clear snow and ice from the cables on the Port Mann Bridge. This system will help ensure the bridge stays open in winter weather conditions.

This system is made up of almost 3,000 collars that clear accumulations when they are released from the top of the cables. To ensure the system’s effectiveness, it will be manually operated by crews of rope access technicians who will physically load and deploy the collars as needed.

“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. Adding a cable collar system to clear snow and ice will vastly improve the reliability of the bridge when the snow arrives,” said Delta North MLA Ravi Kahlon. “For a high-capacity bridge like the Alex Fraser, one closure is one too many, which is why we’re investing in this system.”

Three contractors, all from B.C., have successfully won the contract award to design and install the system. Valid Manufacturing Ltd. from Salmon Arm and Hercules SLR from Langley are the manufacturers of the system’s components. Eurovia B.C. from Surrey will be installing the system. The total project cost is approximately $5 million.

The new system is expected to be in place before the end of January 2018.