Scrap styrofoam use until tests prove safe

It’s troubling that sub-surface styrofoam products, currently being used to enhance the base of areas of Highway 6 that pass over habitually swampy areas, are being associated with frequent black ice when the styrofoam product was used in the same application in another regional highway repair.

A letter from an Espanola resident has made this connection, based on his observations of frequent black ice on Highway 17 near Beaver Lake when part of the Trans-Canada Highway in that area was repaired utilizing a styrofoam-type product some years ago.

Even if there is a possibility that the styrofoam product could make its corresponding highway surface on Highway 6 more dangerous in winter, the product must be immediately removed until its efficacy is proven, one way or the other.

Naturally, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation would not knowingly include a hazardous substance as part of its repair and maintenance regimen.

But the observations of civilians and conclusions drawn as a result must be taken seriously until proven to be absolutely safe in winter driving conditions.