The State of Ontario’s Roads and Bridges

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Bringing aging capital infrastructure assets to a state of good repair in Ontario’s 444 municipalities undoubtedly requires significant financial investments over the coming years and decades. Previous studies have attempted to outline the state of the infrastructure in Canada, regionally and nationally, primarily using survey methods and economic and/or financial modelling.

This report seeks to add to the discussion by enumerating the state of roads, bridges, and culverts for 93 Ontario municipalities. The estimates in this report use best available information with regards to actual field condition assessments as available (i.e., actual performance), and financial data based on the Public Sector Accounting Board standard (PSAB 3150), which focuses on age and the amortization period (i.e., an asset’s expected lifecycle).

Since 2010, Ontario municipalities have spent nearly $6 billion from all sources on construction and additions & betterments for paved roads, bridges, and culverts. In fact, while federal and provincial infrastructure funding programs have been invested in critical municipal infrastructure and has raised overall capital spending, the scope of the need remains daunting. Our study suggests that more than $5.1 billion is needed today, by the 93 municipalities in our sample alone, to replace assets which have reached the end of their lifecycle. Paved roads comprise more than 80% of this deficit.

In addition to the current deficit, the annual infrastructure investment gap for our sample of 93 municipalities totals nearly $462 million. This is the difference between annual lifecycle needs and the amount currently allocated for this purpose from all sources.

Read the full report here.

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