Snow makes Richmond’s roads, transit slow-going

A major dump of snow overnight in Richmond left roads difficult to navigate Tuesday morning, with several crashes reported on highways in the city and buses facing delays.

An earlier collision at the south end of the Massey Tunnel has cleared, but Lower Mainland traffic stations are reporting a couple of new crashes.

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There are reports of a spun out vehicle in the southbound lanes of Highway 99 just south of Blundell, and a collision on Mitchell Island Road in the eastbound lanes just east of the Knight Street Bridge.

Translink says the 410 bus between Brighouse Station and 22nd Street Station is facing delays of up to 20 minutes due to road conditions.

 

TransLink spokesperson Chris Bryan said there haven’t been any major issues with Richmond buses. He did mention some runs may be missed because bus drivers, like the rest of us, travel to work from all over the Lower Mainland and some had trouble making it in.  

The transit authority hasn’t yet mentioned any Canada Line delays for Tuesday, but Monday night a train got stuck for three hours between Aberdeen and Lansdowne stations after ice built up on the power rail.

“It was just an unusual situation and, really unfortunately, caused a challenging evening,” said Bryan said.

For a time, service was also disrupted to YVR Airport Monday evening.

TransLink takes several steps in snowy weather to keep trains operating. They run a train that sprays a de-icing agent along the tracks, and about a year ago installed a heating wire that runs along the power rail. They’ve also installed covering boards to prevent snow buildup on tracks.

Still, there are risks for the partly outdoor rail line.

“Trains are up in the air, there’s an exposed guideway. They travel over the Fraser River, where there’s a lot of moisture coming up from the water. They can develop ice quite quickly.”

Reports from riders on the morning commute Tuesday suggested there were longer than normal wait times for trains and heavier than normal crowds. TransLink is advising travellers to dress warmly in case they'll have to wait for a delayed bus or train in the cold.

 “We just really encourage people to know before you go ... Dress warmly, wear good footwear,” Bryan said.

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