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Highway cleanups not easily swept aside

TORONTO, Ont. -- With the Ministry of Transportation washing its hands of the cost of cleaning up highway incidents...


TORONTO, Ont. — With the Ministry of Transportation washing its hands of the cost of cleaning up highway incidents, there are a dwindling number of clean-up crews willing to take the call.

The issue was brought to light again yesterday, when a private clean-up crew refused to remove a diesel spill on Hwy. 401; until they were sure they would receive payment for the bill.

In the early morning, debris from the flat tire of a truck punctured its own fuel line creating the problem. The truck driver was able to contain the leak; and the clean-up crew was on scene in timely order.

However, payment for the job would be harder to capture. The Transportation Ministry refused to guarantee payment to the crew and the driver’s credit card was not accepted. The process could not commence until the truck company opened for business, stretching the ordeal into after rush hour began.

At one time, the MTO was responsible for all highway clearing and maintenance, but all those responsibilities have since been privatized. The province says it’s the responsibility of trucking companies to clean up incidents, but is looking into speeding up the process of clearing up highways.

— with files from the Toronto Star


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