80km/h speed limit on the RHVP goes into effect this Sunday

Motorist travelling on the Red Hill Valley Parkway this weekend should expect rolling closures in both lanes as crews install new 80 km/h speed limit signs.

Starting Saturday morning crews will be on both sides of the parkway from Greenhill ave to the QEW. Motorists should expect temporary closures of the on and off ramps.

The new speed limit will be enforces as of Sunday at 9 am.

This comes after a six year old report was released last week showing that the friction levels on the Red Hill are lower than the generally acceptable standard.

Professor of engineering at McMaster Univeresity, Peijun Guo says road friction is a big deal.

“It is extremely important. If the friction is too low, then it becomes impossible when there is emergency, when we have to stop.”

Families who have lost loved ones in collisions on the Red Hill have been convinced, even before this report, that something was wrong with the road.

Currently in Ontario there is no standard of road friction and no routine testing of roads either.

The MTO says it only conducts testing on a request basis, either to evaluate the frictional properties of new sources of aggregates that have been used or to evaluate a stretch of a highway that has been identified as potentially dangerous.

NDP leader Andrea Horwath says that needs to change.

The professor says there are too many variables that impact friction, like weather conditions, speed, the shape of the road and others. Horwath says part of the problem is that parkways like the Red Hill are the responsibility of municipalities.

“That was something that caused a lot of burden on municipalities but of course has then fractured the standards and consistency around the province. I think we need to step up to the plate as a province.”

The MTO says only pre-approved, high quality materials are used for road surfaces, saying this approach has worked in providing consistent frictional properties.