Spanning 10 lanes of traffic, the Port Mann Bridge (shown in the rendering above) just outside of Vancouver, Canada is currently the widest bridge in the world. Unfortunately, it might also hold a new record for the shortest period of time a new bridge has remained open.

The cable-stayed bridge just opened to full traffic earlier this month, but on Wednesday it was shut down due to massive chunks of ice falling from the cables and striking vehicles, which sent at least two people to the hospital. According to CBC News, the bridge has since reopened to traffic, but apparently nothing has been done about the falling ice as the Vancouver area is slammed with a severe winter storm.

Construction of the bridge began back in 2009 at a cost of more than $3 billion, but it isn't clear if any changes are needed to prevent this sort of damage from happening in the future. Images of vehicles posted on The Province show damage that ranges from shattered windows and windshields to some pretty intense body damage. Scroll down to watch a news report from CBC News as well as a time-lapse video of the bridge's construction from August 2009 through January 2012.




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 204 Comments
      Kris
      • 2 Years Ago
      Guys, I am an engineer. I work for a big American company. I am responsible for the verification of one of the latest innovations in the telecommunications. And it is not easy to fight against the guys from the management who have no idea what it takes to verify the product is 100% bulletproof. The only thing they care about is keeping deadlines. You never know what can pops out when you are developing a brand new thing, but they don't give a f**k, from the beginning we have tape-out date and no matter what, no matter how much of the design is verified, when the date comes we tape-out. Next time your computer freezes or your wi-fi router needs reset, or a piece of ice falls from the sky, please don't blame the engineers. It's just the world we live in. The profit is more important than the quality of the product. And you can make profit from a product with bad quality, just look what China is doing.
        bill
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Kris
        True but In this case, a public - private partnership we get the best of both worlds. Profit motives joined with a government bureaucracy with no real liability. They make a mistake, the public still pays.
      Polly Prissy Pants
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's not like no one has ever built a bridge where it ices before. I' beginning to wonder if this is one of those things where we value cheap and inexperienced people vs the experienced and expensive. For example, my fridge has a chronic problem, the details of which aren't that important, but come, how many years have we been designing refrigerators? This isn't complicated, yet it's as if we keep having to reinvent the wheel every time some company wants to build something. There are some things (like bridges and refrigerators) that we've made enough of that it should be pretty easy by now, but no, we keep running into basic design problems over and over again as if it's everyone's first day.
        whofan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Polly Prissy Pants
        I think the same way as I replaced the intermediate steering shaft in my GM truck for the fourth time.
          jbroa80476
          • 2 Years Ago
          @whofan
          Purchase a Dorman OE Solution brand intermediate steering shaft from any major auto parts store ie. Parts Plus Auto Parts, O'Rielly Auto Parts, Advance Auto Parts etc. Dorman re-engineered the shaft to address the failure issues and should last the life of the vehicle.
      John Moran
      • 2 Years Ago
      This type of bridge is less expensive because of the placement of the towers and cables but they obviously didn't consider that it is not appropriate for certain types of weather (ice for instance). It doesn't take Einstein to know that cables ice up in cold, wet winters. The same problem exists in places like Georgia where the utility lines ice up in the winter, crop ice, and the weight breaks the lines, poles, etc. Suspending the cables over the traffic lanes was not a bright idea in that area. Now they are probably going to have to use heat or or other methods to stop the cables from icing and maybe the cost savings in construction won't be worth it!
        Rhonda
        • 2 Years Ago
        @John Moran
        great hind sight
        Michael
        • 2 Years Ago
        @John Moran
        Oh, this is not a less expensive bridge to build!!! It is actually more, but many are being built because of the pleasing design
      Thomas
      • 2 Years Ago
      Of course the ADS are playable, but not the content! Stupid AOL and their advertisements on every video.
      Allen
      • 2 Years Ago
      They might try putting up solar panels and using them to heat the cables to prevent ice buildup. I'm a retired construction inspector and this is the easiest and cheapest idea I have.
        lordedardstark1
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Allen
        Except ice will build up on the panels, making them useless. This is Vancouver; not everyone lives in Florida. Maybe they should use solar panels to keep ice off the other solar panels. Sorry to be cynical.
      Alejandro Garza
      • 2 Years Ago
      The same thing happens on the Veterans' Glass City Skyway bridge in Toledo, Oh. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veterans'_Glass_City_Skyway#Falling_ice It's just unbelievable that the designers of this bridge wouldn't learn from this, wouldn't they study every detail of similar bridges and improve?
      Worx2749
      • 2 Years Ago
      Boston has the same kind of 'cable-stayed' bridge, but I've never heard of this happening. Perhaps Vancouver will have to use wired heaters or something to melt the ice.
      Viewpointofview
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Millenium Bridge in London was open for two days before it was closed for two years for repairs. That must be the world record for shortes period of opening?
      wjnovak99
      • 2 Years Ago
      The simple fix would be to install electric heated cables, the kind you use on your gutters, on the suspension cables. No big deal.
      Sean
      • 2 Years Ago
      It looks like another engineering marvel has fallen victim to the Laws Of Unintended Consequences.
      KMA
      • 2 Years Ago
      Reminds me of the Tacoma Narrows Galloping Gertie bridge. The design tests at the time showed no problems. It was fine in wind tunnel tests. What wasn't thought of was that the wind is not even across the span thus missing the oscillation issues. How many other suspension bridges have anti-icing systems on their cables? So it could be a design miss or something though of as something rare and not needing to be addressed. Apparently it is more than a rare occurrence.
      SKINNYwithNOfood
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ice bombs sounds like a spell or a skill.
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