According to a recent industry report card, over half of Canadian municipal roads require significant repairs a quarter of the nation’s wastewater plants are in need of serious upgrades.
The Canadian Infrastructure Report Card, released by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) in partnership with the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE) , the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) and the Canadian Public Works Association (CPWA) looked at infrastructure in more than 120 major municipalities.
In surveying the municipalities, the group learned that more than half of all roads in Canadian cities are falling apart and a quarter of them are operating well above their intended capacity.
Furthermore, according to survey respondents, one in four wastewater plants no longer meet new federal standards that were put in place this summer. Work on those plants is expected to cost upwards of $20 billion.
“The report card shows that core municipal infrastructure like roads and water systems, assets critical to Canada’s health, safety and economic prosperity, are at risk,” said FCM president Karen Leibovici. “Investments in infrastructure over the last few years have helped, but without long-term action we are still headed for a crisis.”
According to the report, 20.6 per cent of roads were rated as being between “poor” and “very poor” condition, with an additional 32 per cent rated as “fair.” It was estimated that replacing these roads would cost Canadians in the order of $91.1 billion.
Some 40.3 per cent of wastewater plants are 30.1 per cent of pipes were rated between “fair” and “very poor”, with replacement costs estimated to be in the $39 billion range.
Drinking water and storm water infrastructure fared better in the report card, though there was still cause for concern. In all, 15.4 per cent of drinking water systems fell below a “good” grade and 12.5 per cent of storm water management systems graded out between “fair” and “very poor.” The cost of replacing those pieces of infrastructure were estimated at $25.9 billion and $15.8 billion, respectively.
Leibovici encouraged all levels of government and the private sector to work together to fix the problem before the already-hefty price tag associated with fixing the issues facing Canadian municipalities spiralled even further out of control.
“Two billion dollars in federal funding for local governments is going to lapse by March 2014,” she said. “The new federal long-term infrastructure plan is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to put our essential infrastructure back on solid ground. Municipalities are ready to work with all partners – federal, provincial, territorial, and the private sector – to fix the problem once and for all.”