Smart answers to
pressing questions.

We regularly select a question posed by a Good Roads member and ask an expert to provide an opinion. What do you need to know? What’s challenging you and your municipality? If you have a question, we’ll find an answer.

Dr. James Smith
Manager, Technical Products and Research

There is a lot of talk about the need for more infrastructure investment. How big is the investment need for roads and bridges?

Based on the reporting contained in municipal asset management plans, Ontario’s existing municipal roads and bridges require a $34.7-billion investment to return to a state of new. This calculation, made by Good Roads’ Technical Programs and Research Department, is the result of extensive research that used self-reported information by local governments, principles of engineering economics and in-house expertise. It only accounts for roads and bridges. Other transportation infrastructure such as trails, bike lanes and sidewalks were beyond the scope of this study. This number is significant because it represents the chronic underfunding that has plagued the most expansive and expensive municipal infrastructure asset. Since its founding more than a century ago, Good Roads has understood that investments into roads are determinants of competitiveness, economic development and community connectivity. Time has not changed this reality.

Based on the reporting contained in municipal asset management plans, Ontario’s existing municipal roads and bridges require a $34.7-billion investment to return to a state of new. This calculation, made by Good Roads’ Technical Programs and Research Department, is the result of extensive research that used self-reported information by local governments, principles of engineering economics and in-house expertise. It only accounts for roads and bridges. Other transportation infrastructure such as trails, bike lanes and sidewalks were beyond the scope of this study. This number is significant because it represents the chronic underfunding that has plagued the most expansive and expensive municipal infrastructure asset. Since its founding more than a century ago, Good Roads has understood that investments into roads are determinants of competitiveness, economic development and community connectivity. Time has not changed this reality.

For the past decade, we’ve been talking about municipal insurance, and what drives those premiums. Most times we talk about claims, and it can take seven years from an incident before it even sees a courtroom.
We continue to advocate for a more responsible use of RAP in road building projects across Ontario through providing guidance to stakeholders and conducting research to connect the gaps in this topic.

Amin Mneina, MSc. EIT.
Coordinator, Technical Programs and Research

How can a municipality reduce its road building carbon footprint?

The construction and maintenance of pavements consume more than 6.5 million tonnes of asphalt and 75 million tonnes of aggregates each year in Ontario. Both asphalt and virgin aggregates are considered non-renewable resources that should be consumed strategically to allow future generations to continue to benefit from such resources. The use of RAP in pavements is considered a sustainable approach to road building that leads to cost-effective spending on infrastructure while preserving resources of virgin materials and diverting large amounts of solid waste from landfills. Reducing asphalt consumption through using locally available recycled materials also limits greenhouse gas emissions. We continue to advocate for a more responsible use of RAP in road building projects across Ontario through providing guidance to stakeholders and conducting research to connect the gaps in this topic.

The construction and maintenance of pavements consume more than 6.5 million tonnes of asphalt and 75 million tonnes of aggregates each year in Ontario. Both asphalt and virgin aggregates are considered non-renewable resources that should be consumed strategically to allow future generations to continue to benefit from such resources. The use of RAP in pavements is considered a sustainable approach to road building that leads to cost-effective spending on infrastructure while preserving resources of virgin materials and diverting large amounts of solid waste from landfills. Reducing asphalt consumption through using locally available recycled materials also limits greenhouse gas emissions. We continue to advocate for a more responsible use of RAP in road building projects across Ontario through providing guidance to stakeholders and conducting research to connect the gaps in this topic.

Jessica Jaremchuk, BA, LL.B
Director, Risk Management
Intact Public Entities

We noticed municipal insurance rates have increased, why?

This is not necessarily just a municipal issue. This is worldwide and it is across all lines of business. For the past decade, we've been talking about municipal insurance, and what drives those premiums. Most times we talk about claims, and it can take seven years from an incident before it even sees a courtroom. We also talk about joint and several liability and the 1% rule. The big one right now is climate change and property. Climate change and rogue weather has resulted in mass property losses, what we call “cat losses” or catastrophic losses. These losses are going on worldwide and they are affecting everyone worldwide. The substantial escalation of massive weather events has increased rates, property rates, absolutely everywhere, and sometimes even getting access to property insurance, what we call capacity, is getting harder and harder all across Canada. According to one survey overall losses worldwide due to natural catastrophes in 2020 totaled $270 billion. In that survey, Canada was at 2.4 billion, that is our fourth highest year on record. There's no denying that climate change and these property losses are having a massive impact on insurance premiums.

This is not necessarily just a municipal issue. This is worldwide and it is across all lines of business. For the past decade, we've been talking about municipal insurance, and what drives those premiums. Most times we talk about claims, and it can take seven years from an incident before it even sees a courtroom. We also talk about joint and several liability and the 1% rule. The big one right now is climate change and property. Climate change and rogue weather has resulted in mass property losses, what we call “cat losses” or catastrophic losses. These losses are going on worldwide and they are affecting everyone worldwide. The substantial escalation of massive weather events has increased rates, property rates, absolutely everywhere, and sometimes even getting access to property insurance, what we call capacity, is getting harder and harder all across Canada. According to one survey overall losses worldwide due to natural catastrophes in 2020 totaled $270 billion. In that survey, Canada was at 2.4 billion, that is our fourth highest year on record. There's no denying that climate change and these property losses are having a massive impact on insurance premiums.

According to one survey, overall losses worldwide due to natural catastrophes in 2020 totaled $270 billion. In that survey, Canada was at $2.4 billion, that is the fourth highest year on record.
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    (Please note that we have more questions than space. Questions are selected based on relevance to the most members. Thank you.)