Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday January 18, 2017
Funds must double to keep Hamilton roads at ‘C’ level: report
The city needs to double asphalt repair spending over the next decade just to keep increasingly rutted roads in fair shape, a new analysis shows.
As it is, municipal road conditions — particularly neighbourhood streets and urban collectors — are deteriorating steadily because the city budget isn’t keeping up with needed repairs, says public works head Dan McKinnon.
“We’re not sustainable … We know the overall condition rating is going to decline,” McKinnon said during a presentation to councillors on the city’s latest road condition analysis.
That report suggests Hamilton must spend about $521 million on repairs and reconstruction over the next 10 years just to hold the line on existing road conditions. We’re on track to spend only half that amount, with about $25.5-million slated to be directed to such repairs in 2017.
The city actually spends closer to $80 million a year on all things roads-related — but that includes bridges, sidewalks and street lights, traffic engineering, technical studies and construction related to new development.
The city bases its latest dire prediction on a roads condition index calculated with the help of a consultant who used ground-penetrating laser technology and visual inspections to evaluate all municipal roads block by block.
Based on the latest study, the city has awarded itself a “C” grade for roads — defined as “fair with some deterioration or defects evident” — or an average condition index of 62.
The “optimum” target condition index for roads is 81. While the city’s two parkways are close to that target level of driveability, residential streets and urban collectors have an average condition index closer to 58.
The latest public report doesn’t finger particularly bad roads or neighbourhoods, but a photo presentation to councillors used a spiderweb-cracked section of Chapple Street in Stoney Creek to illustrate a road in need of a rebuild. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)
Doubled Published – Oopsie.