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Extreme weather spotlights Canada's aging infrastructure

The extreme weather that struck large parts of the country this winter has highlighted the inadequacies of Canada's aging infrastructure.

"We've seen an increase of a little more than about 50 per cent," City of Toronto Road Operations Manager Hector Moreno said. "We've got about 4,000 potholes right now from year-to-date compared to 1,500 that we did last year."
Meanwhile, Saeed Mirza, a McGill University professor of civil engineering, said the situation in Montreal has become "dire."

Mirza said that Montreal's problems with potholes, crumbling bridges and aging sewer pipes are being seen right across the country.


Latest ‘Buy American’ moves by U.S. spark retaliation threats in Canada

Canada’s ambassador to the United States has raised the prospect of retaliation against “discriminatory” Buy American provisions that are included in a new spending bill in Congress.

Gary Doer has written to the chairs of the powerful Senate and House committees on appropriations, noting there have been calls for Canadian municipalities to “Buy Canadian” in response to new Buy American provisions, currently before Congress.

The two committees have jurisdiction over all discretionary spending in Congress and are set to vote on new restrictions that would block Canadian companies from the multi-billion-dollar clean water infrastructure market.


Busy season for water main breaks:

Toronto has seen 341 breaks since January 1

Toronto's ongoing deep freeze has made for one of the busiest years in recent memory for city crews as water main breaks continue to flood roadways at a record pace.

The city hopes to prevent future breaks with projects like the one at Richmond and Yonge streets where a huge project is underway to replace old water mains with PVC, which is more resistant to corrosion.

Recent University-affiliated studies agree - PVC has a much lower break rate, especially in cold climates.


Building Canada Fund projects remain a mystery

Municipal and provincial politicians have been listening carefully for any movement on the Building Canada Fund as the winter Parliament session gets underway. But the only thing Ottawa is saying about the program set to begin April 1st is an announcement is coming soon.

$14-billion is earmarked for per-capita infrastructure funding to be used on infrastructure projects like highways and public transit. President of the Treasury Board Tony Clement says there’s a process in place with different levels of funds, but didn’t say what projects will be considered.

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Light, inexpensive, and can carry 400 pounds

We see some unique stuff made out of PVC around here. But this one made us sit back and chuckle... a company is selling plans to create a two person, side-by-side bicycle, entirely out of PVC pipe. You can even attach a small motor.


Comments or questions?

I'm always anxious to see new trends, topics or innovative ideas in the world of infrastructure.

If you have interesting projects going on in your municipality, let me know! This month's project is 'behind the scenes' at the brand new Ripley's Aquarium in Toronto. IPEX was pleased to supply the pipe for Canada's newest major tourist attraction.

Call or email anytime.

Veso Sobot, P.Eng.
Ipex Management Inc.
(905) 795-6113