Cost of Red Hill inquiry climbs to $1.9M

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Published April 28, 2020 at 2:55 pm

The inquiry into the Red Hill Valley Parkway (RHVP) is costing the City of Hamilton more than $1.9 million so far, a new report shows.

The inquiry into the Red Hill Valley Parkway (RHVP) is costing the City of Hamilton more than $1.9 million so far, a new report shows.

A report in front of City Council at Wednesday’s (April 29) meeting, offers a breakdown of the fee structure associated with the inquiry, which launched last year after a damning report on the roadway’s surface came to light.

The report, from 2013 and 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.

In the latest report on the progress of the inquiry, the biggest expense has been the $1,141,883.33 commissioner’s fee. City expenses include $714,228.53 for staffing and another $44,883.24 in other expenses.

That brings the total to $1,900,995.10, so far, and will likely climb much higher in the years to come.

In early January 2020, commissioner Justice Herman Wilton-Siegel, who is heading up the inquiry, heard oral submissions from the City of Hamilton, several construction firms and people who have been injured or had loved ones killed on the roadway.

In February, the 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 further be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A class-action lawsuit on behalf of crash victims and their families in May 2019 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.

Photo courtesy Perry Quan via Flickr.

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