Ice bombs called 'act of God'
Police and road crews redirect traffic from the Port Mann due to ice falling from cables in December 2012. FILE PHOTO/24HOURS
The companies that designed, built and operated the Port Mann Bridge claim the incident involving falling chunks of ice and snow that smashed windshields and caused accidents in late 2012 was an “act of God” and not because of any failures.
The accidents were caused by “unanticipated weather conditions,” claimed Transportation Investment Corporation (the operators) and the Kiewit/Flatiron General Partnership (the designers and builders), who filed the joint response Friday to the civil claim of a woman whose car was struck by falling ice and snow on Dec. 19, 2012.
Roberta Lynn Lessard claimed she was driving across the Port Mann that day when the falling ice and snow “plummeted” onto her car and smashed the windshield, forcing her to hit the brakes.
The government has since ordered cable sweepers be installed to remove ice and snow buildup, but the companies say in their response the bridge was built to code, and that TI Corp. closed the bridge as soon as the falling chunks became a hazard.
“The buildup and subsequent release of ice and snow from the bridge structure was the result of a confluence of extreme environmental conditions, both unforeseen and unforeseeable to the defendants or any of them and was the inevitable result of an act of God,” the companies claimed.
“No act or omission of the defendants or any of them either caused or contributed to any injury damage, loss or expense suffered by the plaintiff.”
The companies added Lessard is insured as a vehicle driver and is limited in compensation allowed under that act.