SURREY (NEWS1130) – The Port Mann Bridge is open today, but inspectors will need to do an assessment after ice chunks fell from the cables and onto the vehicles below yesterday afternoon.

The NDP’s transportation critic is shocked the new span was forced to close only weeks after opening.

Harry Bains wonders if the province looked at this kind of risk elsewhere when designing the bridge, “like Sweden, Britain, and Boston. Perhaps, also in Seattle.”

“They know that they had some issues with these types of bridges under these weather conditions,” says Bains.

The CEO of Transportation Investment Corporation (TI Corp), which built the bridge, calls what happened yesterday “an extreme weather situation” and “extremely rare.” Bains doesn’t buy it.

“We are in Canada. There’s no rare or special weather conditions. We know that it snows in Vancouver. We know that these kind of weather conditions are commonplace in the Lower Mainland,” insists Bain.

Bains wants to know what’s being done to make sure this doesn’t happen again. “What are they going to do to assure people that in the future, under similar conditions, the motorists will be safe… that they will not be driving with fear of having ice or snow falling on their cars?”

TI Corp admits a coating applied to the cables meant to slide snow and ice off did not work.

The Port Mann Bridge was closed for most of yesterday afternoon.