When the red Hill Valley Parkway resumes Friday, Hamilton’s Former City Manager Chris Murray will take the stand, Murray was in charge of the project up until June 2007 when he transferred to head up City Housing. The highway was paved in the two months after he left and was opened in November of 2007.
On the stand today was Marco Oddi who was senior project manager for the city when the highway was paved. He told the inquiry that he believed the highway was safe even after he was made aware of the results of friction testing that was done just before the highway opened to the public. He said he didn’t fully understand the significance of the friction scores, but didn’t believe they posed a serious problem,
The Ministry of Transportation, who conducted friction testing on the Red Hill before it opened, seemed reluctant to set a standard for friction. One email expressed concern about setting a standard that would disaffect roads already built that couldn’t meet the standard, referring specifically to the Red Hill.
Whatever the case, the same week that the Red Hill was opened to the public. The MTO suspended use of the Stone Mastic Asphalt (SMA)on provincial highways—the same top layer that was on the Red Hill Expressway.
Next week, Gary Moore will be on the stand, He was the city’s expert on pacing, who recommended SMA for the Red Hill.