They haven’t been on the road for long, but high occupancy vehicle lane markers applied to local highways for the upcoming Pan Am Games are already peeling off the pavement.
Commuters making their way along the QEW and Highway 427 on Monday morning could spot chunks of the diamond-shaped markers that had chipped off and pieces of tape blowing around.
The peeling markers are just the latest blunder linked to the Games, which already faced scrutiny for giving volunteers leaky water bottles and t-shirts that were fading after only one wash.
In both cases, Pan Am organizers scrambled to find a fix. But responsibility for the lanes falls on the Ministry of Transportation, which expects the contractor to pay for a fix.
An MTO spokesperson told the Star problems were first noticed by staff on Friday.
The markers were installed between late May and early June as part of a $2.8-million contract for the installation of pavement markings, regulatory signs and spectator signs ahead of the games, said MTO spokesperson Ajay Woozageer.
“Replacement will be undertaken ASAP this week, weather permitting, at the contractor’s expense,” he said in an email to the Star, noting that installation requires “clean and dry pavement,” which the weather hasn’t provided lately.
He said temporary adhesive tape was selected for the markings because it could easily be removed after the games. Since the tape has proved too temporary, he said, some consideration is being given to painting the diamonds instead.
“The pavement markings are an important visual aid to drivers and MTO’s intent is to maintain these in good condition throughout the Games period,” he said.
“MTO will continue to monitor the situation to ensure the lanes are ready for operation on June 29.”
Until that date, when the HOV lane restrictions become enforceable, OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said police are encouraging drivers to treat any flailing tape “like an animal.”
“Try to avoid it, but don’t swerve to avoid it,” he said. “We don’t want anyone losing control.”