UCLA floods - and Los Angeles politicians get a rude wakeup call As UCLA tallied the damage from rampant flooding triggered by the rupture of a 90-ye

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UCLA floods - and Los Angeles politicians get a rude wakeup call

As UCLA tallied the damage from rampant flooding triggered by the rupture of a 90-year-old city water line, Los Angeles city leaders on Wednesday were once again confronted with the consequences of deferred maintenance on the city's aging infrastructure.

Officials have long known that hundreds of miles of city water lines have deteriorated and need replacement, with many past the century mark. But in recent years, L.A.'s elected leaders have been unwilling to hike water rates enough to fix them more rapidly. As it stands, the city-owned Department of Water and Power is on track to replace main water lines only once every 300 years.

Tuesday's rupture sent rivers of fresh water — more than 20 million gallons — coursing across the campus of UCLA, flooding underground parking garages and drenching the wooden basketball floor of storied Pauley Pavilion.

UPDATE: News reports out of Los Angeles indicate repairing the mess will likely take days.

Unfortunately, the situation in Los Angeles is by no means unique. Politicians everywhere are scrambling to determine how to pay for vital infrastructure maintenance. One organization, the Competitive Enterprise Institute maintains there's a simple answer.

131218 The Foundations of a Competitive Canada blog banner

Canadian Chamber issues report on infrastructure investment

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has issued a report entitled The Foundations of a Competitive Canada: The Need for Strategic Infrastructure Investment. The report examines the poor state of Canada’s public infrastructure and makes recommendations for a long-term investment strategy to bring Canada’s infrastructure back to the level needed to support prosperity.

Modern and efficient infrastructure is a core component of a competitive economy. Public infrastructure such as roads, bridges, highways, water systems and the electrical grid provide services critical to economic competitiveness, sustainability and quality of life. Without sufficient investment and upkeep of public infrastructure stock, countries rapidly fall behind.

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Sewer accidentally filled with concrete

OOPS! City of Hamilton officials are likely relieved they're not the ones liable for costs after loads of concrete were accidentally poured into a municipal sewer.

A crew has been working building a new train station. They were filling caissons with concrete when they noticed 'one … took more concrete than they were expecting.'

Now, a sewer in that location is holding water — which means it's blocked.


Order of Engineers calls in former cops to handle increase in complaints

Chantal Michaud never thought he’d spend the twilight of his career investigating fellow engineers suspected of corruption.

Before he was charged with overseeing complaints against members of Quebec’s Order of Engineers, Michaud worked in telecommunications, consulting and served as the vice-president of Hydro-Québec.

Now he’s helping sort through nearly 500 open investigations related to what Michaud calls the three c’s: corruption, collusion and illegal political contributions.


New Brunswick communities to receive major wastewater infrastructure improvements

A number of communities throughout the province of New Brunswick, Canada, will soon receive major improvements to their wastewater infrastructure backed by federal investments made through the federal Gas Tax Fund.

The infrastructure project will comprise seven communities -- Fundy Bay, Gillies, Greensborough, Harvey Lake, Havelock, Roachville, and Sainte-Marie-de-Kent -- that will see upgrades and improvements to their wastewater collection and treatment systems.


Comments or Questions?

I'm always anxious to find out what's going on in your part of the country. If you have a unique infrastructure project going on in your municipality, let me know about it!

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