Slippery trees?

black and white photo of trees in fog

Apart from rain, we’ve had fog occasionally recently. I rather like it, except when it’s particularly cold and clammy. And if the sun came out it would be absolutely gorgeous.

I suspect some people could do without it, though. A combination of fog and low temps turned the new Port Mann Bridge into a sheet of ice this morning. The news and traffic reports were all over it, telling people to take alternate routes. In the end something like 40 cars crashed in pileups on the bridge during the morning rush hour.

Now, what’s embarrassing about this is that it’s a brand new bridge, only open for a month, a high-profile replacement for the old bridge and a major commuter corridor, and this is its first winter. And it’s not dealing with winter very well. First it turned out that the cables don’t de-ice as they were supposed to, which means they drop ice chunks on passing cars (A hundred insurance claims after THAT morning). (Pause for boggling of mind.)

Now apparently the company that runs the bridge didn’t apply adequate de-icing. They sprayed brine, but the solution wasn’t strong enough to last till rush hour. Oops.

TV reports showed an interview with the guy responsible for de-icing the city bridges, who basically said, “we sprayed the brine and then we salted as well… no, no problems on OUR bridges…” [my emphasis]

If competence keeps being exhibited at this level, my mind is going to be permanently boggled.



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