While slow-moving traffic and numerous vehicle stalls have been occurring on roads across the Lower Mainland due to the snowfall, the B.C. government has issued a warning that it may have to shut down bridges and highways in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley due to weather conditions.
The B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced at 4 p.m. today (January 15) that it may be necessary to close bridges and highways for safety reasons as a precautionary measure.
Due to weather forecasts of high winds, slightly warming temperatures, and snow, the conditions may result in the need to close lanes or could lead to full bridge closures.
Also, visibility for both driving and monitoring is anticipated to be difficult based upon the forecast tonight and tomorrow.
According to an Environment Canada weather alert, winds are anticipated to accelerate to speeds ranging from 70 to 90 kilometres per hour on the south B.C. coast tonight, and another five to 10 centimetres of snow is expected to fall in Metro Vancouver.
Due to the high winds, B.C. Ferries cancelled all sailings on the south coast from 3 p.m. onward.
The B.C. ministry stated that snow shedding on the Port Mann and Alex Fraser bridges have already created maintenance challenges.
In the Fraser Valley, road crews may need to close westbound lanes on Highway 1 west of Hope, B.C., due to poor visibility and blowing or drifting snow. Eastbound lanes on the Trans-Canada Highway were already closed this morning.
Ministry staff continue to patrol and monitor weather, highway, and bridge conditions.
Maintenance contractors will continue to work non-stop around the clock to manage roads.