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Vancouver Off-Topic / Current Events The off-topic forum for Vancouver, funnies, non-auto centered discussions, WORK SAFE. While the rules are more relaxed here, there are still rules. Please refer to sticky thread in this forum.

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Old 12-20-2012, 11:03 PM   #426
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2 articles, liberal reaction

Quote:
Province demands Port Mann Bridge be fixed
Province says contractor should pay for safety changes

Jason Howe

SURREY (NEWS1130) – The province is telling the contractor of the Port Mann Bridge to “fix it.”

The BC government wants a solution to the ice bombs that fell on cars yesterday as they drove across the new bridge.

Transportation Minister Mary Polak says she was horrified to hear ice was shattering windshields of cars that crossed the bridge. “This was an absolutely unacceptable situation.”

Polak says she is asking for a permanent fix, but also an immediate solution. “We expected through the contract that they would be able to deliver on a bridge that would not see these accumulations of ice and snow, and certainly would not see them falling into lanes of traffic.”

Polak says the fix should not come at the cost of taxpayers.
Province demands Port Mann Bridge be fixed | News1130



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Minister blasts bridge firm after ice pelts down on cars, injures two people
Keven Drews

COQUITLAM, B.C. – British Columbia’s transportation minister has slammed the international contractor that built the newly-opened Port Mann Bridge, saying the forced closure of the span, only weeks after it opened, is an intolerable situation and that the firm should have been aware of potential problems.

More than 100 insurance claims were filed after chunks of ice pelted down onto vehicles from the bridge’s suspension cables during a snowstorm on Wednesday. Two people were injured and the bridge, which links the Vancouver area to populous southern suburbs, was closed for several hours.

“We will not live with the bridge in that way,” Mary Polak told a news conference.

“When you purchase a product in a store, when you build a bridge for $3.3 billion, you believe that it will work. You expect it will work. When it doesn’t work you seek for redress to that. You seek for someone to refund your money or you seek for someone to resolve the problem.”

Polak said that’s what the province will be doing.

“Taxpayers will not be on the hook for this and we will ensure that we have a bridge that is safe for the travelling public to use and that an event like this has a permanent solution to see that it doesn’t happen again.”

Polak said her ministry was “alive” to snow and ice being a potential problem on the bridge before it was built and there were specifications in the contract to address the concern.

“Clearly, what we saw yesterday shows that they did not meet those requirements.”

The bridge was built by Kiewit-Flatiron General Partnership. The company said in a statement it was working to figure out where the problem is and find a solution quickly.

“We’re very concerned about the recent weather issues impacting motorists on the Port Mann Bridge,” said the statement from Thomas Janssen, director of external affairs for the company.

“With the recent severe weather conditions, it’s evident there is an issue that needs to be closely reviewed and addressed.”

The Crown agency that operates the bridge will pay the deductibles of drivers whose vehicles were damaged in the incident. Tolls for travellers who crossed the bridge between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Wednesday will also be waived.

Prof. Tom Brown, an engineering professor at the University of Calgary known to his students as Dr. Ice, said he’s confident the problem can be fixed.

Brown has worked on offshore oil rigs and Prince Edward Island’s Confederation Bridge and said sometimes, problems slip through despite the best work by experts.

“This is certainly a concern because I would kind of imagine that the conditions under which it occurred, the atmospheric conditions in Vancouver, could well occur again,” he said in an interview.

“I don’t know what the fix will be, but it’s certainly a fixable problem.”

Brown said cold weather, high humidity, precipitation and wind all play roles in allowing ice to form on the bridge cables and eventually fall off. The ice bonds to the cold cables and when the wind whips up, it starts a vibration on the cables that eventually knocks loose the ice.

Brown said Vancouver’s rapid temperature fluctuations from cold to warm can also break off heavy ice chunks as they begin to melt.

Last January, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge near Seattle was shut down due to falling ice from bridge cables on a Kiewit-built bridge.

Alice Fiman, a spokeswoman at the Washington state Department of Transportation, said the problem was called “weather-related” at the time.

Fiman said Kiewit completed construction on the twin suspension bridges in 2007, and since then the span has been closed only once due to falling ice.

Mike Proudfoot, CEO of the Transportation Investment Corporation which operates the bridge, said the bridge is a significant crossing, the second-longest cable-stayed bridge in North America.

Building it required a “certain expertise.”

“We have the best firms in the world engaged in the design and delivery of this project, both as the original designers and as the independent checkers.”

Proudfoot said provisions had been made to prevent such snow accumulations.

“It hasn’t transpired as expected,” he said.

Possible solutions to the problem include heating the cables, the use of vibrations or coatings, as well as manual and mechanical methods for removal.

“We expect some answers on that very shortly.”

The Port Mann Bridge opened eight lanes Dec. 1 and was touted to slash commute times of up to an hour for some people.

Cars and small trucks crossing the Port Mann are electronically assessed an introductory $1.50 toll, but the levy will rise to $3.00 per crossing by next December, with varied rates applying to larger trucks and motorists using special passes.

— With files from Dirk Meissner in Victoria
Minister blasts bridge firm after ice pelts down on cars, injures two people | News1130
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:47 PM   #427
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You left out one major factor: hindsight is 20/20.

There are dozens if not hundreds of bridges of this basic design (tower/cable stayed) in the world, some (many?) of them with cables over the roadway, most without. Some are in warmer climates, some colder; some will experience snow and ice, some won't. Most have been in operation for years if not decades.

In all that, with a collective dozens if not hundreds of winters behind the design, it's apparent that a situation like this, to this severity, has not happened before - if it had, the design would have been modified to mitigate the risks, a long time ago.

So here you have a very particular combination of design and weather events that have conspired to create a very specific set conditions, quite possibly for the first time *ever*... so they were supposed to have planned for this based on, what... experience?

It's easy for all the armchair engineers to look at it now and say, "duh, why didn't they think of that?".
Now hold on a minute, I don't want to start an argument, this will be my last post on the subject.

But step back and read what I wrote, then what you wrote for a second.

The very first thing I wrote in my post was that there would be a lot of data to consider before any decisions would be made. My post was meant to illustrate a general point of the variables and factors that would be placed into consideration. I didn't even make a claim to whether or not I believed this bridge's design is flawed.

In your post, if we read in between the lines, you're making a claim in defense of the bridge's design by saying in laymen's speak "there's a lot of these bridges in similar climates all over the world, there must be enough of these bridges to build up enough confidence to make an assumption that this design is not flawed, and we can not expect it to happen again in the future".

I think between you and I the only armchair engineer is yourself. I work closely with engineers, their spec, and design, and in my post I've simply shared an opinion into the extent of the analysis they would conduct for a problem like this, I've made no claims whatsoever. On the other hand you've made a claim that the bridge must be safe because there's probably lots of similar bridges built in similar environments all over the world (I'd definitely love to see this data, I would paypal you some extra cash to buy yourself something decent for the holidays. Show me the data and I'll show you the money)

You make a terrible armchair engineer by the way. Everything from the angle of the cables, the air pressure, humidity, seismic vibrations, etc, all of these variables cannot be exactly the same somewhere else in the world. That is absolute bullshit. And any combination of these variables could correlate to a greater chance of the ice forming. If they happen often enough, the bridge has a major design flaw. If it's just this one time, then it was bad luck that it had to happen right when the bridge opened up. But if you took the time to read and comprehend my fairly written post, you would see the only person acting as a failed armchair engineer between us is you.

Last edited by alpinestars; 12-20-2012 at 11:55 PM.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:52 PM   #428
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Deductibles from damage caused on the Port Mann yesterday will be waived. Also, no tolls will be charged from 10am -6pm.

As per Mike Proudfoot, TI CEO
I'm hoping they don't charge for using the Goldenears either since we had to use a alternative bridge. I crossed heading west while the the ice was falling and then 2 hours later going to langley they shut It down and traffic was forced into coquitlam. I'm gonna call and bitch
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:55 PM   #429
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:33 PM   #430
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God damnit!!!

Just got an email that my Visa was charged $300 from treo. I've been over the bridge 4 times in 2 pre-registered vehicles. There's no way I owe them anything.

Also, apparently, 2 of my trucks are designated as medium vehicles, even though they meet the requirements for small vehicles (<6M and 2 axles). Fullsize, ext cab, shortbox.

Just got off the phone with them to get this straightened out and the CSR is telling me it might take a week to get the transaction reversed...a fucking week?
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:19 AM   #431
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"More than 100 insurance claims were filed after chunks of ice pelted down onto vehicles from the bridge’s suspension cables during a snowstorm on Wednesday."

Who wants to bet that a good number of those are bogus, from people trying to cash in for other damages?

ICBC: "Ummm, sorry sir, but I don't think you're going to convince me the big, perfectly-round dent in your BACK bumper is from an ice bomb..."
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:01 AM   #432
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^at least they can confirm with treo if they were actually on the bridge during the time. Just need to know if it was an ice bomb :/
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:58 AM   #433
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Finally, some answers.

First, my trucks were designated in the wrong category, (medium vs. small), thus putting them at a higher cost.

Secondly, the person who registered the vehicles back in November, took it upon himself to also sign me up for monthly passes.

$300 = cost for monthly pass for medium vehicle.

Anyways, I got one truck in the correct size category (other one hasn't crossed yet) and waiting for the charges to be reversed. It's pretty obvious that I don't cross enough to warrant needing a monthly pass.

The CSR I talked to today actually had a clue what was going on and was very helpful. ICBC has 10 vehicle classifications, whereas trEo has 4. When trEo uses ICBC's database, sometimes the vehicles fall into the wrong category. So pay close attention to your crossing history and make sure your car's in the correct size category.

FYI, if you're a frequent user and sign up for a monthly pass, they're on introductory rates (small vehicles only) til the end of the month. $75/mo vs. $150/mo and you can get this price until October.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:00 AM   #434
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Finally, some answers.
... snip
I don't take the Port Mann bridge, so the information is irrelevant to me.

However, when someone takes the time to post up useful information, you deserve a thanks!
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:44 PM   #435
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I've crossed a bunch of times and nothing in my account online yet... ? I thought it would be fairly quick to update. First time I crossed was almost 3 weeks ago and yet nothing has shown up
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:54 PM   #436
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That's strange. I've crossed 3 times now and all 3 have shown up on my account. Only took a day or two to show up.
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:44 AM   #437
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Weren't the cables supposed to be heated originally?
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:40 AM   #438
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Weren't the cables supposed to be heated originally?
I think there are around 280 cables...

bchydro would have to open a new sub station just to provide power for the cable warmers.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:00 PM   #439
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I think there are around 280 cables...

bchydro would have to open a new sub station just to provide power for the cable warmers.
That wasn't the question, but alright.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:03 PM   #440
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Weren't the cables supposed to be heated originally?
no they were not. They had some sort of spray on them that was supposed to prevent ice/snow build up and that of course didn't work.
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:33 PM   #441
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Weren't the cables supposed to be heated originally?
Not exactly... according to the articles, that was considered as an available option and determined not to be worth the cost.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:01 PM   #442
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flip what kind of truck do you have? I'm hoping I don't get charged as a medium..
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:48 PM   #443
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If your truck is under 6M long and only has 2 axles, it should be a small.

Mine is a fullsize Chev, ext. cab, shortbox. My other one (hasn't crossed yet) is a fullsized Dodge, ext. cab, longbox, dually. Both meet the requirements as small vehicles.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:56 PM   #444
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If your truck is under 6M long and only has 2 axles, it should be a small.

Mine is a fullsize Chev, ext. cab, shortbox. My other one (hasn't crossed yet) is a fullsized Dodge, ext. cab, longbox, dually. Both meet the requirements as small vehicles.
Mine's over 6m but is 2 axles. Full size Dodge, same as yours but not a dually.
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:19 PM   #445
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You can always call and have them change the designation. Have you crossed yet and been charged for a medium? Don't mention it's over length btw.
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:26 PM   #446
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You can always call and have them change the designation. Have you crossed yet and been charged for a medium? Don't mention it's over length btw.
Ya just checked, i'm getting charged correctly. And it's only $1.12 if you cross in the HOV lane weow!
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:49 PM   #447
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oh shit, totally HOVing it
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:09 AM   #448
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I've crossed a bunch of times and nothing in my account online yet... ? I thought it would be fairly quick to update. First time I crossed was almost 3 weeks ago and yet nothing has shown up
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That's strange. I've crossed 3 times now and all 3 have shown up on my account. Only took a day or two to show up.
Mine registered right away
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:21 AM   #449
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oh shit, totally HOVing it
Bringing out the ol' inflate-a-mate, eh?
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:44 AM   #450
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Weren't the cables supposed to be heated originally?
i heard the engineer had it written in the spec to ensure the bridge had a means to adequately deal with snow/ice and the contractor interpreted it as to use the spray stuff as it would be the cheaper option.
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