The City of Windsor alleges the Ministry of Transportation isn't playing by the rules when building the Herb Gray Parkway's drainage system.
France Isabelle-Tunks, the city's senior manager of development and geomatics, says drainage work on the $1.6-billion infrastructure began before final a set of designs were reviewed and approved by city staff and council.
"We were reviewing work that was already under construction," Tunks said. "It has to go to council for formal approval.
"Under the Drainage Act, any changes to municipal drains have to be approved by council. There’s work happening without that step being taken."
The City of Windsor is now worried the drainage systems altered by Herb Gray Parkway construction could create flooding, according to a report to be submitted to council Tuesday night.
In the report, staff says “the drainage systems in the area are being altered by the Hon. Herb Gray Parkway work and the City is doing their due diligence in order to protect the City’s municipal drains against potential flooding and/or liability upstream and downstream.”
The report includes a problem statement.
“Who has the responsibility and liability for municipal drains that exist through the Herb Gray Parkway? Is the municipality liable and responsible for works on municipal drains that reside in the HGP of which the highway is owned by the Province but resides within the municipality?”
According to the City’s deputy solicitor, Wira Vendrasco, “any drains within the limits of the Herb Gray Parkway fall within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transportation and are therefore the responsibility of [the] MTO.”
Tuesday night, council agreed to have a third party review the drainage works on the project “to ensure adequate capacity is provided.”
"We’re going to make sure at either end that our interests are taken into account," Tunks said.
The review will cost $40,000.
The Ministry of Transportation wasn't immediately available for comment.