VANCOUVER - A heavy-lift helicopter has been called in to help keep traffic flowing smoothly on a Vancouver-area bridge where vehicles have been damaged by so-called ice bombs.

B.C.'s Transportation Ministry says a chopper will be deployed when needed to blow snow and ice from the cables of the Alex Fraser Bridge, which spans the Fraser River between Richmond and Delta.

Lanes on the bridge have twice been closed over the past week because of winter debris falling from the cables onto the span and posing a threat to drivers.

In both instances, the bridge was closed for more than four hours.

Before the closure, falling ice and snow shattered several dozen windshields, prompting the provincial government to offer to pay drivers' insurance deductibles.

The government says the helicopter is only a temporary solution, and that a more permanent fix is in the works.