All contractors in Northeastern and Northwestern Ontario have been fined this winter, for failing to meet minimum standards. Deficiencies in service were found in all five maintenance areas of the province.
A regional media advisor said the ministry monitors its contractors to ensure they are meeting the requirements of their contracts. They use automated vehicle locaters (GPS), routinely check equipment response times and equipment route times, and review snow accumulation, time to achieve bare pavement conditions, radio logs, police call reports and road monitoring to ensure maintenance standards are met.
The ministry does not disclose individual payment issues. Non-conformance fines begin at $5,000 per vehicle.
Standards vary by highway classification. Class 1 highways, such as the 400 series, have an allowance of eight hours until plowed/scraped to bare pavement with a snowplow pass at least every 1.6 hours. Class 2 highways, such as Highway 17, has eight hours to bare pavement, with a snowplow pass at least every 2.2 hours.
Anyone with a concern about maintenance on a provincial highway can report the issue at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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In November 2013, the Ministry of Transportation and one of its contractors were fined a total $500,000 for violating the Fisheries Act.