February 13, 2019 11:44 pm
Updated: February 14, 2019 5:40 am

Hamilton politicians move forward external review into Red Hill Valley Parkway debacle

80 km/hr signs will be installed next week as the speed limit drops along a portion of the Red Hill Valley Parkway.

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There will be an external, independent investigation to find out how a 2013 report that pointed to friction issues on the Red Hill Valley Parkway stayed buried for six years.

Hamilton City Council has voted to request direction from an outside lawyer within 30 days, to set the parameters and scope of such an investigation that will determine who knew what, when and why they didn’t share the information.

READ MORE: Hamilton council to consider judicial investigation into suppressed RHVP report

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Stoney Creek Coun. Brad Clark recommended the judicial review since it’s now a “public perception” issue.

Clark says an internal probe by city auditor Charles Browne is not enough since he’s a city employee and people need to know there isn’t a conflict of interest.

READ MORE: Councillor feels ‘betrayed’ in light of Red Hill Valley Parkway bombshell report

Browne attempted to allay those concerns during the public portion of Wednesday night’s council meeting, stressing that he can require city employees to testify under oath.

He also stated that his role is to hold administration and council “to account and I take that role very seriously.”

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Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger says the external, independent investigation will “create that arms length to ensure there isn’t any hint of potential conflict with council.”

Hamilton City Council has also given final approval to a lowering of the speed limit on a busy section of the Red Hill Valley Parkway.

READ MORE: City of Hamilton apologizes after 2013 report on ‘slippery’ Red Hill is uncovered

Staff with the roads department say new signs should be up by late next week as the limit drops from 90 to 80 km/h between Greenhill Avenue and the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW).

Wednesday night’s approval also expedites resurfacing of the parkway, something that will happen this spring, and it finalizes a request to Hamilton police for stepped-up speed enforcement on the RHVP.

READ MORE: Where are the most dangerous intersections in Hamilton?

According to the city’s most recent collision data, there were 862 crashes on the Red Hill Valley Parkway between 2013-2017, including four that were fatal.

In the wake of revelations of the suppressed 2013 traction findings, families that have lost loved ones along the parkway have said they are considering a class action lawsuit.

The city will also be releasing 2015 and 2018 safety audits, completed by engineering experts in 2015 and 2018, which led to the installation of reflective pavement and guide rail markings, along with other improvements along the parkway.

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