City of Hamilton submits tens of thousands of documents for Red Hill inquiry


Published July 14, 2020 at 6:54 pm

The City of Hamilton says they have collected and delivered more than 50,000 documents related to the Red Hill Valley Parkway inquiry.

The City of Hamilton says they have collected and delivered more than 50,000 documents related to the Red Hill Valley Parkway inquiry.

In a press release issued Tuesday (July 14), the City says the process of submitting the 55,500 documents to the Commissioner of the judicial inquiry was completed on Monday evening.

Last year, the City claims staff began collecting and compiling documents for the Judicial Inquiry. Throughout this process, the release explains, more than three million documents were collected from network drives, hardcopies, document management systems and the mailboxes of over one hundred current and former City employees.

The legal team representing the City of Hamilton has now submitted more than 55,500 documents relevant to the Commissioner’s request for information.

“The City is providing all necessary documents to the Inquiry to assist the Commissioner with his work so that, at its conclusion, Council and the people of Hamilton better understand issues related to the Red Hill Valley Parkway,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger in the release.

“We remain committed to diligently working with the Commissioner throughout the process.”

The inquiry was launched in the spring of 2019 after a damning report from 2013 on the roadway’s surface came to light.

The report, carried out by Tradewind Scientific, on the friction of the RHVP surface indicated the asphalt on “nearly all areas of the [RHVP] have friction values below or well below” the recommended level.

The report prompted the city to immediately lower the speed limit on the expressway to 80 km/h and to expedite the resurfacing of the roadway, which was completed in the summer of 2019.

The city then launched an inquiry to find out why the report, which was dated November 2013, was never brought to light until last Spring.

The latest report on the progress of the inquiry, which was in front of the General Issues Committee last week, shows that the cost of the inquiry is now up to $3,114,391.60.

Tuesday’s release claims the City is the first inquiry participant to submit all relevant documents in its possession to the Commissioner and expects the other participants to follow suit over the coming weeks.

Once the commissioner receives the relevant documents from the other Inquiry participants, Commission Counsel will begin the process of interviewing witnesses.

So far, commissioner Justice Herman Wilton-Siegel, who is heading up the inquiry, heard oral submissions in January from the City of Hamilton, several construction firms and people who have been injured or had loved ones killed on the roadway.

In February, Wilton-Siegel decided that the formal inquiry, which was expected to begin sometime in the Fall of 2020, will not hear from crash victims or their families.

The timeline will likely be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A class-action lawsuit launched on behalf of crash victims and their families in May 2019 is seeking damages from the City of Hamilton in the amount of at least $250 million.

Since 2012, there have been seven fatalities on the Red Hill and dozens of injuries. The class-action suit claims that more than 2,000 vehicles have lost control on the road since its opening in 2007, resulting in either single- or multiple-vehicle crashes.

For more information about the Judicial Inquiry and to learn how the public can participate, visit the inquiry’s website..

— Photo courtesy Perry Quan via Flickr.

insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising