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Questioning turning sharper in Red Hill hearings

Questioning turning sharper in Red Hill hearings

Former Hamilton Director of Engineering Gary Moore says he simply did not have any basis for concern based on his perusal of the Tradewind friction report which he received in 2014. In a day of testimony where the questioning took on a sharper tone, Moore said the friction values presented in the report did not mean much to him at the time. Moore said since Tradewind had been hired by the consultant Golder that he relied on Golder’s interpretation of the results. For its part Golder did address friction, writing, “although the Friction Number (FN) values are higher than when measured in 2007, immediately after construction (between 30 and 34); they are considered to be relatively low. Typically, the FN values should be at least equal or higher than 40 to be considered adequate.” Golder recommended applying a new surface mix in areas where friction was lower. Previous testimony and inquiry documents indicate that in the paving industry, new pavements have relatively low friction values, but those values normally improve over time as the road surface starts to get worn down through traffic use.

Moore told Inquiry counsel that he did not share the Tradewind report with anyone at city hall, but that he might have discussed the report with fellow engineers at an industry conference, although he could not remember getting any useful feedback in those discussions. It’s worth noting that neither the Tradewind report nor the Golder report, discuss the friction issue with language that conveys any sense of urgency. They both describe the friction numbers as low and Golder recommends some resurfacing, but without any suggestion of immediacy. Several times inquiry documents show Moore expressing concern that publishing a hard friction number threshold could lead to lawsuits. He correctly pointed out that it was also a concern with MTO, as was shown in inquiry documents.

In the afternoon session Mr. Moore was confronted for the first time with an email between colleagues that demonstrated a level of frustration with him personally, particularly around his manner in his interactions with fellow workers. Several communications in Inquiry documents show tension between the Traffic Operations department which was in charge of the highway after it was opened, and Moore, who oversaw construction of the road, but continued to express strong opinions about subjects such as friction, lighting the road and the installation of visual features like imbedded cats eyes years after the road was completed.

One such email came from Martin White of Traffic Operations to his boss John Mater after Traffic had decided to hire CIMA for an analysis of accidents where a vehicle had crossed over into the oncoming lane.

Has anybody told him (Moore) we are doing the Linc  collision crossover study with CIMA? He’s going to react when he finds out. Traffic staff shouldn’t have to put up with his reaction when he finds out. Malone (CIMA consultant)  even told me he is charging us a bit extra due to Gary. He wants to be sure his recommendations are totally defensible. He asked me what he should say when Gary calls him. I told Cima to do the best analysis they can and give us the best technical options and not to worry about what Gary says to them.

This is a consistent problem we face routinely with that section and related works. I’m not going to respond but I just had to have my bitch out to you! Thx for listening.

Like many of the witnesses at these hearings the most frequent answer from Mr. Moore was that he could not recall various meetings, or did not recognize some of the memos and emails shown to him. At one point counsel for the city of Hamilton objected to a question being put repeatedly to Moore, prompting the Commissioner Mr. Justice Herman J. Wilton-Seigel to describe Moore’s demeanor on the stand as “elusive.”

Commission counsel stated last week that their examination of Moore might end on Tuesday. Two additional days have been set aside for other party’s counsel to cross-examine the witness.

View Comment (1)
  • Cover-up from the start.City should not have a review of findings before releasing but they did.Now other delay.Cant have bad press in a election year.Scandals cover-ups,silence all to common at city hall.

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