In an unprecedented move, the City of Hamilton has issued a public apology after documents were uncovered, outlining a 2013 study that revealed the Red Hill Valley Parkway is more slippery than it should be.
Acting city manager Mike Zegarac issued the apology in a media release.
“On behalf of the City of Hamilton, staff apologize to Council and the general public for how this matter has come to their attention.”
The 2013 audit of the expressway reveals that “nearly all areas of the have friction values below or well below” the recommended level. The report from Tradewind Scientific recommended “further examination of the pavement surface, composition and wear performance” and “more investigatory work”.
The detailed information dated November 2013 was revealed for the first time to the general issues committee in a closed meeting Wednesday night.
“While we are extremely disappointed to learn that this information was not shared with Council when it was received, we appreciate staff bringing it to light now so that we could take immediate action,” said Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger. “We are in the business of delivering high quality public services and are committed to doing everything we can to ensure ongoing public safety.”
“We will be reducing the speed limit to 80 km per hour, requesting increased speed enforcement, making improvements to the RHVP in spring 2019, and directing that actions be taken to improve internal processes and procedures relative to information management.”
The city’s auditor general has launched an investigation to find out why the report was overlooked.
The City of Hamilton says with the introduction of a new public works leadership team, staff became aware of the report in late 2018 through an audit.
In light of the report, combined with information received through the annual collision statistics report received by staff Wednesday, the city says it will reduce the speed limit on the RHVP between Greenhill and the QEW to 80 km/h in both directions.
It is also expediting the resurfacing of the Red Hill Valley Parkway to this spring.
According to a 2017 investigation by the Hamilton Spectator, the seven-kilometre stretch of expressway sees twice as many crashes than the adjoining Lincoln Alexander Parkway, despite the Red Hill averaging nearly 40,000 fewer daily drivers than the Linc.
There have been seven fatalities on the Red Hill since 2012.
Speeding has been cited as the most frequent factor in the deaths.
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