A Letter to Kathryn McGarry, MTO – “Culvert Collapse – Unacceptable”

May 12, 2018 @ 15:32
Minister McGarry, Ministry of Transportation
Legislative Building, Queen’s Park
Toronto ON  M7A 1A1
Saturday, May 12, 2018
Dear Minister McGarry
Yesterday a sinkhole opened at a weak point in a culvert on Highway 17, near Wawa. As of noon today, the highway is still closed.  The detour route would add over two hours to the trip.  This is the trans-Canada highway which sees a lot of personal and commercial traffic.
It is my understanding that culverts are “monitored”, and then replaced when they fail.  I have heard this from more than one person who works in the industry.  Culverts which are weakening are left in place until they collapse, or until a hole forms in the road above.
This is unacceptable. First, this preventable failure inconvenienced hundreds, if not thousands, of Canadians.  Businesses will have lost income. Second, the policy of allowing culverts to fail places drivers at serious risk of injury or death.  This is not the first time that this has happened, even within 50 km of Wawa.
I would ask you to change the policy, so that culverts are replaced before they fail.  We would not accept a bridge failure, for example.
Mike Cotterill
Wawa, ON.

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