No obvious problems were detected when the re-paved, northbound Red Hill Valley Parkway was re-tested on June 16, 2019. This is the conclusion drawn after Gorski Consulting conducted testing in response to a driving instructor’s complaint to the Hamilton Spectator newspaper that the re-paved surface was “a disaster”. The “Letter-to-the Editor” of the Hamilton Spectator is shown below:
“Newly-paved road a disaster
RE: Red Hill
I had the displeasure of using the newly-paved downbound portion of the Red Hill Expressway. It is a disaster.
In my normal day of work, I teach bus and truck driving for a large trucking company here in Hamilton. Today I transferred one bus to London and returned with another to Hamilton. The bus is a beautiful Thomas coach. I had no trouble driving and handling it from London via 401, then 403 to the Linc in Hamilton. But once getting onto the new pavement of the Red Hill downbound, it felt as if my tires were out of balance and the steering started to shimmy, plus the ride was a bit bouncy. My conclusion is that the paving was rushed and not tested at high-speed driving. This is why the pavement is uneven. I predict that there will be some anxious moments by drivers in the next few days.
To further exacerbate the Red Hill’s downbound problem, the road marking where the road comes up to Barton Street is incorrectly painted. This intersection since its inception has had three lanes, one left turning lane, middle lane turning both left or right, and the curb lane turning right. The pavement markings were correct prior to repaving. But now there are two left turning lanes and one right turning lane despite the signage on the post advising drivers otherwise. Tsk, tsk, tsk, rushing things causes a big mess that will have to be corrected later.
I suggest that the City of Hamilton should have some big vehicle go downhill, obeying the speed limit and see what is the experience.
Dez Miklós, Hamilton”
On June 16, 2019, Gorski Conculting conducted testing along both the Lincoln Alexander and the Red Hill Valley Parkway, in the same manner as the previously-reported testing of May 15, 2019. The test vehicle was driven eastbound on the Lincoln Alexander then northbound on the Red Hill Valley. Since the southbound Red Hill Valley had not yet been re-paved the test vehicle was driven along Centennial Parkway back to the east end of the Lincoln Alexander and testing was conducted westbound back toward Highway 403. As per the previous testing of May 15th, the test results were separated into tables: eastbound Lincoln Alexander, northbound Red Hill Valley and westbound Lincoln Alexander. These tables are shown below.
It can be recalled from previous discussions that values in green that are below 0.0200 radians per second indicate a road surface that is generally in good conditions. Values in black that are from 0.0200 to 0.0500 indicate that some problems likely exist in the road segment. Values in red that are at 0.0500 and above indicate that the road segment contains major problems through a large portion of the measured distance.
High-speed, controlled-access expressways such as those shown in these tables should exhibit the highest levels of service and should generally not exhibit averages above 0.0200 radians per second. It is clear that a number of road segments along the Lincoln Alexander Parkway contain values well above 0.0200 and one, along westbound Dartnall Road contained an average well over 0.0400 radians per second.
None of the data along the re-paved, northbound portion of the Red Hill Valley Parkway indicated any obvious problems. The complainant who wrote to the Hamilton Spectator newspaper was driving a large bus at the time of his experience and this vehicle is obviously quite different than the mid-sized, 2007 Buick Allure that was used in the testing by Gorski Consulting. There may be special conditions that might develop that may not be detected due to the differences in the vehicles being used. Unfortunately we are not in a position to locate the complainant and obtain further information about his experience.
Further discussions about these data and comparisons to other tested highways will be provided in future articles on the Gorski Consulting website.