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February 24, 2010
City seeks better road conditions through the introduction of pavement degradation fees
The City of Toronto’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee will consider a program aimed at recovering repair and rehabilitation costs from companies that cut into the City’s roads to install, maintain or upgrade their facilities underneath the streets.

The introduction of pavement degradation fees at the committee’s March 2 meeting would allow the City to recover the costs of fixing and maintaining roads that have been severely affected by cuts to the roadway. This is based on research that shows the damage caused by cuts to roads requires the City to repair these roads more quickly that would ordinarily be the case.

These utility cuts have resulted in the premature deterioration of our roadways and have forced the City into significant costs to repair our infrastructure. In an average year, utility cuts require a total of between 200,000 - 300,000 square metres of permanent pavement restoration work. To put this in perspective, 250,000 square metres of pavement work is equivalent to reconstructing Yonge Street (four lanes) from Lake Ontario to Steeles Avenue each year.

“We are responding to the concerns of residents about the condition of our streets and our ability to repair them quickly,” said Mayor David Miller. “It is absolutely essential that the City maintain the integrity of its road network and these fees will go directly toward improving the quality of our roads for all users.”

Currently, the City spends more than $240 million to repair roads each year. In addition, about $70 million is spent on other work including road work in conjunction with watermain and sewer replacement and public realm initiatives. In 2007, the City approved a Personal Vehicle Tax that is being used to offset these costs.

The City currently recovers costs associated with the work to repair cuts which is valued at about $43 million a year. The implementation of pavement degradation fees will result in an average of $4 million for the City to repair portions of roads that have degraded due to the numerous cuts by multiple companies. The money collected from these companies and organizations would go into a reserve fund that would be used for construction, resurfacing and maintenance of the City’s roads.

In addition to the pavement degradation fees, utility companies will be required to identify their work on the road through on-site signage, a stencil on the road near where the work is being done and also provide notification to area residents making improper repair easier for residents to report and track.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents. For information about non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media contact:
Steve Johnston, Sr. Communications Coordinator, 416-392-4391,



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