WATCH: Province to fill holes, when it comes to asphalt quality
Transportation minister Steven Del Duca tells NEWSTALK 1010 that he is determined to make sure the government gets it right when it comes to the quality and safety of our roads.
The ministry has released a lengthy action plan in response to a report by the auditor general about the poor quality of the asphalt used by some contractors.
Bonnie Lysyk found that while some contractors were using bad asphalt, they tampered with samples for testing to still get bonuses.
She looked at five highways as an example and found that the province had spent $23-million on repairs within one to three years, when the material was supposed to last 15 years.
"We want to make sure that at all times we're providing the public with a sense of comfort and confidence," Del Duca says. "I'm quite comfortable saying we will be held to account with respect to making sure that we do get it right."
The action plan includes changes that are to be implemented during this construction season.
The province promises to increase the inspection and testing of asphalt. They are raising the required specifications on the materials used.
Suppliers of asphalt will have to certify that they are providing high quality product.
Contractors will have to meet higher standards on workmanship so that roads are smoother. The ministry says that should increase the lifespan of Ontario roads.
They are setting up a fraud tip line for anonymous reporting of suspected violations.
The ministry says it will also make sure it has complete control of samples to reduce the risk of sample switching when asphalt is being tested.