Since 1894 OGRA has been a leader in the training and education in the field of municipal infrastructure and public works. Since the days when the “Good Roads Train” would pull into stations across Ontario carrying the latest road building equipment and information for communities, OGRA has been at the center of the creation and enhancement of Ontario’s modern province-wide road and highway network.
Today the complexity and sophistication required to effectively maintain the current class of municipal assets is considerably greater than it was when the Good Roads Train rolled across Ontario. As the approach to municipal infrastructure stewardship continues to mature, Ontario municipalities continue to strive to ensure that their assets are managed with the utmost prudence.
Governments – both local and provincial – as well as leading stakeholders have determined that municipal asset management planning (AMP) is the best way to manage these modern assets. The proposed Ontario Municipal Asset Management Planning Regulation (ONT EBR Registry Number 013-0551) will continue to drive this progress forward. The introduction of this proposed regulation will further obligate municipalities to embrace and enhance their AMPs.
The significant progress that has been made on the AMP should not cloud decision makers from the very significant challenges that have become apparent since the Government of Ontario first introduced The Infrastructure for Jobs and Prosperity Act, 2015. Since the Ministry of Infrastructure made the decision to tie provincial funding dollars to whether or not a municipality had an AMP on file, there have been a number of challenges that have emerged.
In recognition of these challenges, OGRA has initiated a project to better identify these barriers and begin identifying potential solutions that will allow municipalities to further enhance the asset management planning.
In short, OGRA will work with project participants to enhance the asset management planning of participant road networks (i.e., roads, bridges and culverts). The decision to focus this project on road networks was deliberate. First, OGRA has a long history of road expertise and training. This will be critical in the success of this project. Second, these assets are the most widely owned and amongst the most capital intensive assets that a municipality owns. By focusing efforts on road networks, it is expected that the challenges uncovered – whether staffing, material, IT, financial or something else – will provide guidance and understanding that will have application to other classes of municipal assets.
The first phase of the project will see OGRA working with project participants to access their existing asset data in the coming months. Participating municipalities will facilitate introductions to other municipalities so that OGRA can gage their potential participation in the project.
The second phase of the project will see OGRA, together with Marmak Technologies, review each participant’s asset data and upload or update that data into MDW. OGRA will then assist in the development of an asset management plan for each participant municipality ensuring that the AMP is compliant with the regulations as currently being proposed by the Ontario Ministry of Infrastructure.
Participating municipalities will not incur any costs other than the staff time required to meet its obligations as set out above.
This project will identify these challenges/barriers and provide a road map forward, ensuring that:
OGRA will sharing the findings of these projects with the Ministry of Infrastructure. If your municipality is interested in participating in this project, please contact OGRA’s Executive Director, Joe Tiernay for more information.