Canadian Manufacturing

New reports says infrastructure crumbling, in need of $171B in repairs

FCM report gave about 30 per cent of nation's municipal infrastructure failing grade



TORONTO—One in four Canadian roads is operating above capacity and the nation is in need of more than $91-billion to replace the worst of the bunch, according to a new report.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ (FCM) first national infrastructure report card found about 30 per cent of Canada’s municipal infrastructure—which also includes drinking water systems and wastewater and stormwater networks—ranked poorly and is need of replacement that would cost more than $171-billion.

Municipal roads require “urgent attention,” according to the report, with more than half of the roads from 123 municipalities surveyed falling below a condition rating of “good.”

These failing grades could pose challenges in both the short- and medium-terms, as crumbling roadways make it increasingly difficult to move both goods and people throughout the nation.

The report says wastewater infrastructure replacement in Canada carries a price tag of $39-billion, with 40 per cent of wastewater plants, pumping stations and storage tanks in “fair” to “very poor” condition, and about 30 per cent of pipes falling into the same grade categories.

Despite receiving an overall rating of “good,” drinking water infrastructure in the municipalities saw some shortcomings.

According to the report, 15.4 per cent of the systems were ranked “fair” to “very poor” in terms of pipe conditions, and 14.4 per cent of plants, reservoirs and pumping stations ranked “fair” to “very poor.”

Drinking water infrastructure replacement would cost approximately $25.9-billion.

Canada’s stormwater management systems received the best grade of all the infrastructure categories covered in the report, with only 12.5 per cent of those installations receiving low marks.

Still, replacement of such infrastructure would cost approximately $15.8-billion, according to the report.

With the federal government’s Building Canada Plan set to expire in 2014, municipalities could soon be without about $2-billion in annual infrastructure funding.

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