The cables that hold up the bridge run across traffic lanes, connecting the central towers between the twin bridge decks to their outer edges. Cables staying the Alex Fraser and Golden Ears bridges don't run diagonally above their bridge decks. Transportation Investment Corp. CEO Mike Proudfoot said engineers are assessing the bridge to determine what went wrong and what can be done to prevent recurrences. He apologized for what he said has been a "difficult day" for affected motorists. Proudfoot called it an "extremely unusual" incident due to the combination of snow with a series of freezing and thawing cycles. Other cable-stayed bridges of similar design also experience falling ice problems, Proudfoot said. "No bridge is immune to it," he said, noting it has happened occasionally at the Alex Fraser. Proudfoot said the bridge's design is supposed to ensure snow buildup slides down the cables and over the side and doesn't drop onto the bridge deck. "This bridge is designed to be compliant with the Canadian bridge highway design code." Preemptive closures of the bridge could be an option when similar weather conditions are anticipated, he said. The cables are not heated but Proudfoot said it was too early to say if some deicing retrofit could help. He said the province will pay the ICBC insurance deductibles of drivers whose vehicles were damaged on the bridge. It's not yet clear if drivers without comprehensive insurance will be reimbursed or if deductibles will be paid for motorists with optional coverage from other insurers. Proudfoot also promised drivers who used the Port Mann bridge during the affected hours Wednesday won't be charged tolls, whether their vehicles were damaged or not. - Surrey Leader.
WATCH: "Ice Bombs" close Port Mann bridge.