City of Hamilton moves to develop plan in response to Red Hill Valley Parkway inquiry

The city says it is committed to rebuilding public trust, making changes and ensuring past mistakes aren't repeated in the wake of the Red Hill Valley Parkway Judicial Inquiry. Global News

Hamilton, Ont., city staff have created a working group that will develop an “action plan” to respond to 36 recommendations that came out of the Red Hill Valley Parkway judicial inquiry.

There’s also a commitment to councillors, made by acting city manager Jason Thorne during Wednesday’s meeting of the general issues committee, to ensure that “lessons are learned” and “past mistakes aren’t repeated.”

“The failure to disclose the information related to the Red Hill Valley Parkway was inexcusable, it should not have happened,” said Thorne. “We know that it damaged the public’s trust in this institution, and we are committed to rebuilding that.”

The judicial inquiry’s findings were released last week, and found that “relatively low” friction levels on the parkway likely contributed to crashes prior to 2019, when the discovery of hidden test results that flagged those concerns prompted an emergency repaving and a speed limit reduction to 80 km/h.

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General Manager of Public Works Carlyle Khan says Hamilton city staff have formed a working group and will present an “action plan” early in the new year, as they work to address the inquiry’s 36 recommendations, many of which aim to improve traffic safety and information sharing.

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Khan adds that some of the recommendations have already been implemented, including creation of a manual to guide individual projects.

He says the manual clearly details a standard process, “to effectively share information and improve collaboration across the board.”

Stoney Creek Coun. Brad Clark concludes the $28-million cost of the judicial inquiry, which was requested after the friction-test results came to light in 2019, was money well spent.

“We can now see why it was so important to have complete transparency through the process.”

Click to play video: 'Hamilton city council approves judicial inquiry over lost study'
Hamilton city council approves judicial inquiry over lost study

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