City of Waterloo is falling behind on infrastructure repair: report

A new report finds the City of Waterloo is falling behind when it comes to repairing infrastructure.

The City spends around $32 million a year on upkeep, but the 2023 Asset Management Update presented to council on Monday said it needs to spend $86 million to keep up. That’s a funding gap of $54 million.

“The average annual funding gap has accumulated over many years,” said Cassandra Pacey, the Manager of Asset Management for the City of Waterloo.

“It continues to be influenced by escalating construction costs, continued deterioration, rehabilitation or replaced improvements and improved asset data.”

City analysts have warned 80 per cent of transportation infrastructure will be in “very poor” condition in 25 years if it does not receive $23 million a year in additional funding. Currently, the city estimates 31 per cent of it is in poor condition. Other areas that are expected to be in “very poor” condition by 2047 include bridges and culverts, parks and facilities.

Ward 7 Councillor Julie Wright said council should ask Infrastructure Canada in the future for help with repairs especially when it comes to climate change damaging infrastructure.

“We are heading into a territory where our assets could be dramatically affected,” said Wright.

Over the last two years, council has added $2.8 million to annual infrastructure funding through rising taxes.

The City of Waterloo owns $3.9 billion in infrastructure assets including roads, transportation, pipes, and bridges.

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