Delta/New Westminster/Richmond – 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.
Last year, during the harsh winter, many drivers were caught under ice bombs that dropped off the suspension cables.
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.
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.
The bridge was the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world when it opened on September 22, 1986. The province announced on January 19,2017 a new lane will be added on the bridge, by slightly narrowing the existing lanes and removing the shoulders. A counterflow system with movable barrier will be added to help ease traffic during morning and afternoon rush hours. This will be a joint venture by the provincial and federal government. Construction is slated to be completed as of Spring 2018.