FCM sounds alarm on failing infrastructure

$1.7 billion to replace Township road, water, sewer systems

A report issued by the Canadian Federation of Municipalities says that without immediate improvement and continuing maintenance, the cost of fixing or replacing roads, bridges and underground services across the country will “explode” over the next decade.

Gleaning data from more than 120 municipalities representing 60 per cent of the Canadian population, the report concludes that more than half of municipal roads are falling apart.

Township Councillor Bob Long, an FCM member, called the report card “a credible document by which we can measure what the infrastructure deficit really is — and it’s in the billions of dollars.”

The cost, according to the FCM, is at least $20 billion.

One in four roads is over-capacity, transporting far more people and goods than it was designed to handle, and one in four wastewater treatment plants needs to be upgraded or replaced to meet new federal standards introduced this summer.

Langley Township’s bill for repair and replacement will be astronomical.

According to engineering director Ramin Seifi, the replacement value for all of the Township’s water, sewer, storm water, and transportation infrastructure is currently estimated at more than $1.7 billion, with transportation assets accounting for approximately half of that.

The analysis currently under way has identified a funding shortfall of approximately $15 million, based on the most recent five-year capital budget, confirming that funding levels are not sufficient to ensure adequate maintenance and ultimate replacements of aging assets, he added.

Seifi said that the Township is developing a comprehensive asset management program for infrastructure (water, sewer, storm water, roads and bridges).

“The majority of the Township’s infrastructure has a fair condition rating, although a number of assets are approaching or have already exceeded their expected service lives,” he said.

Overall, the Township’s infrastructure is in much better shape than the national average due to the relative age of the assets, Seifi said.

“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,” she said.

The FCM said last week that two billion dollars in federal funding for local governments will lapse by March, 2014, and the new federal long-term infrastructure plan is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to put essential infrastructure back on solid ground.

The FCM partnered with the Canadian Construction Association (CCA), the Canadian Public Works Association (CPWA) and the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE) to deliver the report card. This marks the first time a group of national stakeholders worked together to measure the state and performance of municipal infrastructure from one end of Canada to the other.

The first edition of the report card measured the condition of municipal roads, drinking water, wastewater, and storm water systems. Future studies, which the FCM and its partners plan to release on a regular basis, will look at other assets such as housing and transit.

 

Just Posted

WHAT’S IN STORE: Caffeine drip, please

A look at how local businesses are helping kids through hospitals, camps, and homeless initiatives

VIDEO: People pack the streets for Community Day in Langley City

For the 25th anniversary of the annual event, it incorporated the food truck festival

Pride flag taken down by Township of Langley

Woman said she was told it was removed from her front yard because of a complaint

Langley’s Wyatt twins make Pan Am team

Wyatts back home after completing freshman year at University of Memphis

VIDEO: Beer lovers tip a few for Langley Rotary Clubs

17th Annual Tip ‘n Taste at Cascades Casino serves up craft suds for local charities

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

Most Read