Brian Malone Knew About the “Buried” Friction Report, Why Did He Not Say Something?

Screencapture of the Red Hill inquiry website.

In 2015, following a seemingly endless number of wet weather collisions and high-profile fatal crossover collisions, the City of Hamilton’s Traffic Division hired CIMA to conduct a comprehensive safety review of both the Lincoln Alexander Parkway and the Red Hill Valley Parkway.

CIMA’s final report in December 2015 did not include the 2013 friction study. CIMA knew about the friction report, but did not include it in their public report nor brief City Council about the report.

In at least one instance, Malone remained silent when Gary Moore falsely claimed the friction test results were satisfactory.

The Red Hill Valley Parkway Inquiry is trying to find out why CIMA did not include the friction study results in their reports.

We can expect CIMA Vice-President Transportation Engineering Brian Malone to be asked this question this week.

Malone will be on the stand at the Inquiry for four days this week, beginning this afternoon.

Malone’s Emails and Records on the “Buried” Friction Report

On August 7, 2015, at 2:58 pm, Hamilton Director of Engineering Gary Moore sent Brian Malone the “buried” friction report.

“Brian Here is the Red Hill friction testing summary. Not for republication! Thanks,” reads Moore’s email to Malone.

28 minutes later, Malone responds to Moore writing, “Thanks very much Gary. Don’t worry, we will not re-publish this information.”

In this 3:26 pm response, Malone asks “Am I correct that FN numbers of less than 30 are below a desired level?”

In less than 28 minutes, Malone asked the key question. Yet, on December 7, 2015, when Malone’s CIMA team presented their comprehensive safety review report, there was no mention of the friction report. The Inquiry is likely to ask why.

Malone forwarded his correspondence with Moore, including the friction report, to his internal CIMA team on August 8, 2015 at 8:16 am writing:
“For your information. Not for public release.
It does not help very much since it appears that the City abdicates responsibility for assessing friction on the pavement surface to the MTO for some reason. We’ll need to decide how to deal with this in the report.”

Officially, CIMA was working for the City’s Traffic division, not Gary Moore’s Engineering division.

On October 20, 2015, Malone along with two other members of his CIMA team met with the City’s Traffic managers Martin White and David Ferguson. Gary Moore was in the meeting.

Minutes written by CIMA state, “Mr. Moore stated that friction testing was conducted recently following standards and resulted satisfactory.”

Why did CIMA not correct Moore’s statement during this meeting?

On December 7, 2015, the CIMA report was presented to Council’s Public Works Committee.

Councillors asked questions regarding the pavement of the Red Hill Valley Parkway and were told there were no concerns with the pavement.

Gary Moore told Councillors that the MTO had performed friction testing in 2007 and the results were at or above what the MTO typically expected from high grade friction mixes.

Why did CIMA not speak up then?

We may get answers to these questions and more this week.

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