Lower Mainland braces for winter storms, freezing rain

Province says it’s prepared to keep region’s bridges clear

Lower Mainland residents should brace themselves for up to 20 centimetres of snow over the next few days, according to Environment Canada.

The agency issued multiple weather warnings Wednesday morning, including a winter storm warning for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, warning residents that they could see 10 centimetres of snow throughout the day double that in higher elevation areas before the snow turns to freezing rain on Thursday.

Metro Vancouver is expected to see up to 10 centimetres of snow by Thursday morning while the Fraser Valley could see 20.

PHOTOS: It’s a winter wonderland on B.C.’s south coast

The province says it’s ready for the incoming snowfall. Last year, heavy snow closed the Alex Fraser Bridge multiple times over the winter and ‘ice bombs’ falling from the cables of both the Alex Fraser and the Port Mann Bridge sent more than 100 drivers to claim damage with ICBC.

Speaking earlier this fall, a transportation ministry spokesperson said their contractor Mainland had more than 8,000 cubic metres of salt and 900,000 litres of brine ready for this winter.

READ: Province stockpiles extra snow clearing supplies for Lower Mainland

The ministry’s budget for snow clearing in the region is $14.7 million.

Clearing snow and ice off the two bridges last year cost the province $5 million total; $1 million for the Alex Fraser and $4 million for the Port Mann.

The Alex Fraser is expected to be outfitted with cable collars, similar to those on the Port Mann, later this winter.

There are currently lane closures in effect on the Port Mann Bridge as crews reset cable collars on the Port Mann.


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katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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