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Red Hill Inquiry will probe relations between city managers and the consultants they hire

Red Hill Inquiry will probe relations between city managers and the consultants they hire

Gary Moore who was in charge of the construction of the Red Hill Valley Parkway ended two days of testimony in which he faced questions from lawyers for the City of Hamilton, Ministry of Transportation, Golder Associates and the commission counsel. Moore had earlier downplayed his own technical knowledge when it came to pavement mixes and friction testing but commission counsel presented him with a technical paper that was presented to an industry association with Moore listed as one of the authors. In his testimony Monday Moore said the report was really the work of Ludomir UIzarowski of Golder, who was consulting the city on pavement and that he had only provided data. But counsel pointed to numerous instances of Moore’s editing of the document. Moore insisted his edits were only of a grammatical nature and attempting to make the document more readable.  

Consultant paid for trip to Ottawa to receive award

Moore was closely questioned about his acceptance of plane fare and accommodation from Golder to attend a conference in Ottawa in 2009 at which Golder won an award for its work on Red Hill. Moore was asked whether he was aware that such a gratuity was contrary to the city’s gift policies, Moore responded that he was aware that a policy existed but did not feel the value of the trip was a material gift. When counsel for the city objected to the persistent questioning of Moore on the matter, Inquiry counsel said the matter of relationships between city staff and consultants will be the subject of future testimony in the inquiry.

MTO scotches suggestion it had a hand in designing road

A Lawyer for the Ministry of Transportation pounced on a suggestion that MTO had approved the design of the Red Hill Parkway. A document was produced that laid out the amount of funding MTO would provide for the parkway, but it did not contain any references to design and engineering issues, and Moore conceded that the document was not an approval of design by MTO , but a schedule of how and when the provincial contribution would flow to the city. Moore pointed out that some of the curves in the Red Hill were due to the location of cross streets like King and Queenston Road where the distance between them is short, causing challenges for drivers in merging traffic. The road was also designed in a manner to interfere as little as possible with Red Hill Creek, which was another reason for some short-radius bends in the road.

Friction testing

Moore was asked about the reason friction testing was ordered and as he had Monday he was reluctant to say that concern about safety was the reason for the testing. “When someone says safety to me it usually refers to the operation of the road…our concern was with the road itself.”

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