ORBA urges municipal politicians to invest in Ontario’s roads
October 21, 2014 by STAFF REPORT
With Ontario’s municipal elections less than one week away, the Ontario Road Builders’ Association (ORBA) is calling on local politicians to invest more in road and transit improvements across the province.
“ORBA’s member companies across the province are urging all municipal candidates for their commitment to investing in the future of our province by investing in transportation infrastructure,” said Geoff Wilkinson, executive director of ORBA.
According to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, Ontario’s municipalities own and are responsible for maintaining almost 50 per cent of Ontario’s public infrastructure, including more than 15,000 bridges and large culverts and more than 140,000 kilometres of roads. This is more than double the provincial (12.4 per cent) and federal (9.2 per cent) combined. Municipalities are currently facing an infrastructure deficit of more than $60 billion, of which $28 billion accounts for the infrastructure gap for roads and bridges alone.
ORBA says transportation infrastructure is a critical public asset that affects people’s everyday lives and business competitiveness, while also playing a key role in long-term economic growth and development. Poorly maintained infrastructure delivers a lower quality of services, costs more to repair and replace, and can increase risks to health and safety. In addition, traffic congestion has become a serious concern, particularly in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region, where it causes upwards of $11 billion a year in lost economic productivity.
“Traffic congestion has become the number one issue affecting economic growth and social prosperity in Ontario,” added Wilkinson. “Eliminating the staggering infrastructure deficit currently facing municipalities, as well as expanding our existing transportation infrastructure, will place municipalities and Ontario at a competitive advantage,”
Ontarians will head to the polls on Oct. 27.