Canadian Consulting Engineer

Media starts paying attention to deteriorating infrastructure

Following the collapse of the overpass in Montreal in early October, the media has begun to pay more attention to t...

October 16, 2006   Canadian Consulting Engineer

Following the collapse of the overpass in Montreal in early October, the media has begun to pay more attention to the problems of Canada’s deteriorating highway infrastructure.
Claude Paul Boivin, president of the Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada, was quoted in a CBC Report on October 6, 2006, calling for national standards related to highway repairs. “You know, the time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” Boivin was quoted as saying, “And certainly the sun is shining on our economy and the time has come for us to take investments in infrastructure and highways and bridges very seriously …”
Just this month, the ACEC had made infrastructure its number one recommendation in its Pre-Budget Recommendations to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance. In that report, ACEC called for the federal government to establish long-term funding to tackle the country’s growing “infrastructure debt.” It also called for the government to provide $1 million for five years to develop long-term plans under the guidance of a National Roundtable for Sustainable Infrastructure.
Crews in Laval north of Montreal are dismantling the remains of the collapsed overpass over Highway 19 a week after it collapsed and crushed five people to death. Another overpass nearby that was of the same era and design was also being taken down. The Mayor of Laval said the replacements would begin to be constructed in December or January.
The Laval tragedy has raised questions about how often different jurisdictions across Canada test and examine their bridges and overpasses for safety, and how reliable those tests are.


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