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Red Hill Inquiry hears further evidence of city pushing back against lighting proposals

Red Hill Inquiry hears further evidence of city pushing back against lighting proposals

Yesterday at the Red Hill Inquiry, witness Brian Malone of the consulting firm CIMA, was insisting, in the face of evidence to the contrary, that consultant recommendations are not watered down or modified to suit the client.  This despite the fact that Inquiry documents showed a high degree of dialogue between city staff about getting a CIMA safety report changed to remove a recommendation to improve lighting on the highway. The documents showed that the Highway’s construction manager Gary Moore expressed impatience that lighting was still being discussed and insisted that it be taken off the table.  Ultimately the report that went to council did not recommend lighting and instead talked about lesser measures such as cats’ eyes imbedded in the pavement. The CIMA report also suggested that the city get friction testing done.

Malone was back on the stand Wednesday and this time the questioning came from a lawyer for the city asking why didn’t CIMA state more explicitly that friction testing should be conducted. Considerable time was spent exploring the difference between the words “should “and “could”, Malone insisted that the language used in its report was sufficient to alert the city to the need for the testing.

A new witness was brought forward to discuss the lighting recommendation, or lack of, in the CIMA report.  Brian Applebee worked on the 2013 CIMA report and he testified that the question of lighting the highway was very much on the agenda at a meeting with the city. He said that as of  June 2013 CIMA had presented its preliminary safety finding to the city and one of the first recommendations was for full illumination for the Dartnell-Mud Street interchange at the top of the Red Hill, and partial illumination  on the portion of the highway towards Greenhill. Minutes of the meeting show that representatives from the city pushed back against the lighting suggestion.

Most of the key witness are expected to be called back for re-examination as more information comes to light at the inquiry. That list will include key figures such as Gary Moore, Gerry Davis, Brian Malone and representatives from consultants Golder and Tradewind.

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