The new Port Mann Bridge has more than a few motorists riled up, following its latest contribution to traffic chaos this morning. But from as far out as Chicago?
Delta North NDP MLA Guy Gentner contacted the Now from the windy city Thursday morning to complain, because he "can't leave the Port Mann fiasco alone."
This morning as many as 40 vehicles were involved in fender-benders on the icy toll bridge, with at least one motorist being taken to hospital.
Sgt. Peter Thiessen of the RCMP said the collisions started happening at about 5:30 a.m.
"The deck was extremely icy along with some significant fog on the bridge," he said.
It's been subsequently revealed that the bridge hadn't been properly de-iced.
Last month, the Port Mann rained ice bombs, smashing many a windshield. Time will tell what tomorrow morning will bring, with freezing rain in the forecast.
"Only after a few months of its opening, the multi-billion dollar Port Mann bridge's design flaws continue to roll out, including a deck that cab be nothing short of an ice rink," Gentner said.
The MLA noted that "cost-efficient" bridge deck heating systems are working elsewhere in Canada and the U.S.
He noted that when the bridge's deck freezes "good traction and all directional and braking control are lost," and fears "serious accidents and fatalities will be all-too-frequent consequences."
Gentner said it's been well-documented that in order to avoid such traffic "mayhem" the installation of internal or external heating sources during construction costs little to maintain and operate compared to "ICBC costs, potential loss of life, congestion and traffic delays, clearing and cleanup costs, de-icing salts that prematurely deteriorate the bridge.
"Surely the designers and the bean counters had all this in mind when the planning process began?" Gentner demanded. "If not, those responsible in the Ministry of Highway and Infrastructure should be tendering their resignations."
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