Last week, Infrastructure Canada and Statistics Canada released the first category of results from Canada’s Core Public Infrastructure survey. The survey examines the inventory, condition, performance and investment of core public infrastructure owned and operated by provincial, territorial, regional and municipal governments from the year 2018. So far, only data on Roads, Bridges and Tunnels have been released, while data from (1) Storm Water, Wastewater, and Potable Water, (2) Culture, Recreation Facilities, and Housing, and (3) Public Transit, Solid Waste and Asset Management are coming soon.

Local roads* remain the most prevalent road type in Canada and account for 69.5 percent of all municipally owned roads. From 2017 – 2018, rural municipalities completed 25,362 kilometers of local road construction in Canada and urban municipalities completed 2,882 kilometers. Across Canada, 28.4 percent of municipally owned local roads are in fair condition, 34.1 percent are in good condition and 18.1 percent are reported to be in very good condition. In contrast, 10 percent and 4.5 percent of local roads are in poor or very poor condition, respectively. Nova Scotia had the highest percent of local roads in very good condition, reporting 30.9 percent of local roads in very good condition by urban municipalities. The average expected useful life of municipally owned local roads in Canada is 31 years for both urban and rural municipalities.

Of the municipalities who own road assets in Canada, 93 percent in Ontario have a road asset management plan in place, 76 percent in New Brunswick, 66 percent in Saskatchewan, 61 percent in British Columbia, and 59 percent in Alberta. Ontario’s high percentage of road asset management plans can be attributed to O. Reg. 588/17 requiring all municipalities to have an asset management plan in place by 2024.

Full data released for Roads, Bridges and Tunnels can be found here. We will release a full briefing on the Survey once all data is available.

*local roads are defined as roads that provide for low volumes of traffic and access to private properties; local roads are designed for low speeds, have capacity for 2 undivided lanes of traffic; through traffic is discouraged and parking is usually permitted though often controlled.