What we inherited – To quote many residents, “Roads that looked like those in a third world country.” In fact, 44% were rated bad or very bad.
Accomplishments – The vast majority of our roads have been repaved; some totally rebuilt, including all of Fleet and most of Queen Mary. Today, less than 5% of our roads are bad or very bad. Over 95% are good to excellent.
Benefits – Smoother roads and elimination of vibrations. Over 50% reduction in annual pot hole repairs. Safer for bike riders and roller bladers.
What we inherited – Pipes filled with gunk and over 50 breaks per year. Huge claims for flooded basements.
Accomplishments – Pipes cleaned with a new chemical treatment and almost all of the worst water mains have been replaced or rehabilitated. The rehabilitation is done with a new technique that costs about 25% of replacement and the work lasts about 40 years. This may be the best record in the province. We were the first demerged town to get and use the water-gate system to prevent the flooding of basements and large damage claims when water mains burst.
Benefits – Dramatic reduction in annual water main breaks and an even larger drop in serious claims for flooded basements. There was a corresponding drop in emergency overtime for our men to fix water main breaks. Fewer water service interruptions for residents.
What we inherited – Sewers that had not been cleaned in many years and, therefore, prone to blockage and overflowing. In 2005, before this administration took power, over 200 basements were flooded.
Accomplishments – All sewers have been cleaned and many have been rehabilitated. We clean and inspect most sewers annually. We also passed a by-law requiring functioning sewer back up valves.
Benefits – Dramatic reduction in sewers overflowing and flooding of basements. To date, in the past 15 years, we have had less than one claim per year for flooding due to sewer problems.
What we inherited – Sidewalks that were chipped, cracked and, in the worse cases, with whole chunks missing.
Accomplishments – We have done an inventory of every sidewalk section and have redone all the worst sections. We spend about $250,000 per year redoing the worst sidewalk sections.
Benefits – Safer sidewalks, fewer spots with weeds growing through cracks and a more attractive streetscape.
What we inherited – Pathways that were severely cracked, uneven and, in the worst cases, dangerous.
Accomplishments – We have also done an inventory of all our pathways and we have redone all the worst ones and created Centennial Lane.
Benefits – Safer walking and biking paths.
What we inherited – Dozens of lamp posts with varying degrees of corrosion at the bottom. Some were in imminent danger of falling and had to be removed immediately. Over 100 spots where wiring problems were patched by stringing wires across streets from one lamp post to another. Electrical wires that had been buried in the earth without using conduits to protect them.
Accomplishments – We have replaced over 100 street light posts and have begun the enormous job of burying wires in conduits underground. Numbered all the street lamps to speed up repairs and replacements.
Benefits – Fewer blacked out streets, shorter repair times and reduced costs for repairs.