The Alex Fraser Bridge will be getting a new cable collar system to improve its winter safety and reliability in January 2018.

The B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced the new safety system in a release this week.

"This new cable collar system will help ensure the Alex Fraser Bridge stays open—regardless of the weather—so that people can get to work on time," transport minister Claire Trevena said in the release.

Wintry conditions last year forced the bridge to be closed several times because snow and ice from the bridge's cables would fall on the road.

The system is similar to the one that clears snow and ice from cables on the Port Mann Bridge. It will be manually operated by crews that will load and deploy the collars as needed.