Who will foot damages from Port Mann Bridge ice bombs remains unclear

Metro Vancouver’s transportation network was clogged and businesses had difficulty transporting products when the new Port Mann Bridge was closed yesterday because foot-long ice shards ...

Metro Vancouver’s transportation network was clogged and businesses had difficulty transporting products when the new Port Mann Bridge was closed yesterday because foot-long ice shards were fallling from cables, damaging vehicles and injuring drivers.

ICBC reported dozens of vehicles that had windshields smashed from falling ice.

But exactly who will pay for damages caused remains a matter of speculation. It could be a mix of government, drivers and the Kiewit-Flatiron General Partnership (KFGP).

The province entered into a $1.93 billion contract in 2009 with KFGP to design and build the new bridge.

Mike Proudfoot, who is CEO of Transportation Investment Corp. (TIC), held a press conference December 19 but did not say whether he believes that KFGP should be on the hook for either modifications or damages.

He said that the coating on the cables that was intended to prevent ice buildup did not work as intended.

Proudfoot, whose organization is a Crown corporation established to implement the Port Mann-Highway 1 Improvement Project, described the weather as “rare” and “special” and said the bridge meets Canada's building code.

Earlier this year, when a crane tipped off its tracks during bridge construction and dropped a segment of the bridge into the Fraser River, KFGP was responsible for costs related to the event.

The Port Mann Bridge opened to traffic only three weeks ago.

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom

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