Iced-Off Port Mann Bridge Commuters


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Port Mann Bridge | BCBusiness
Image by: BC Gov Photos
After ice falling from cables damaged some 200 cars, many are pointing fingers over flaws in the design of the new Port Mann Bridge.

A couple of weather incidents on the new and mighty expensive Port Mann Bridge have many commuters and critics fuming. But let’s point those icy fingers where they really belong — at nature — and ourselves.

First, great chunks of ice fell off the new, $2.25-billion Port Mann Bridge onto commuters' cars after a snowstorm. Then last week it was slick and icy surfaces that caused some 40 accidents.

Obviously, commuters, critics, the press and all the usual government opponents were somewhat iced off when the “world’s widest bridge” wasn’t perfect right off the bat.

But, hey, give the engineers a break, will you (and I’m not saying that just because I went to engineering school briefly). This was one of the largest bridge projects in the world. It was tremendously complicated, and the engineers spent much time and energy anticipating and dealing with suspected problems.

They got it 99-per-cent right.

But you can’t plan for every condition on earth, and it appears that’s what happened here. They expected icing conditions and spread the usual solution of salt water on the bridge.

It just wasn’t quite enough for the conditions that happened that morning. 

Well . . . . stuff happens. 

And, by the way, how many of those drivers who complained were driving too fast for the conditions? Did they think that because the bridge was new, the usual rules of driving didn’t apply any more?

So before blaming the government, the engineers, or anyone else, let’s examine our own faults.

Politics & Policy | Travel

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