Wednesday, the Ontario Government released a bulletin regarding a $39.2 million investment in highways in Northwestern Ontario.
This program is meant to help rehabilitate and expand select highways in northern Ontario, including adding passing lanes, resurfacing the payment, replacing bridges, and widening major routes.
The projects chosen include:
- Highway 11
- Highway 105
- Highway 17
- And Highway 71
All of the projects are expected to start in the spring and be completed by the fall of 2016. This is, admittedly, quite efficient for road construction, which has a number of benefits for commuters. But it also has a single and very dangerous consequence.
It means that these workers will not be doing anything except for the assigned project — resurfacing, adding passing lanes, widening routes. Specifically, this doesn’t provide much time to inspect, audit, test, or replace the safety mechanisms surrounding those roadways.
Many of our articles on SafeDrives say the same thing: it’s time for the provincial government to step up and enact legislation or regulations that would allow for more accountability. At the moment, there are a lot of mechanisms on Ontario roads that are not crash-tested at all. Those that are crash-tested are using very old standards that don’t measure up to the weight and speed of modern vehicles.
All it would take is for the Ministry of Transportation to include these types of audits and inspections when work like this is being done. It would be easy and safe — not to mention it just makes sense!