A national survey just released by the CAA shows that Manitobans are paying an estimated $102 per year, per vehicle for damages as a result of roads that are in poor shape.
That is an annual average, accounting for the sudden, one-time high costs that bad roads can inflict on vehicles.
The report, The Cost of Poor Roads in Canada, states that, with around 23.5 million passenger cars on the roads nationwide, poor roads are costing the nation’s drivers a total of $3 billion annually.
“We’re not surprised by these results, in fact we know that the condition of our roads and highways takes a measurable toll on vehicles and that’s why the MHCA has a vigorous “FixOurRoads” advocacy campaign that informs Manitobans about the cost of deteriorating infrastructure,” said MHCA President Chris Lorenc.
The CAA analysis shows that aside from Quebec, where the cost is extraordinarily high, and the Atlantic provinces, Manitoba is a leading province on per-vehicle cost due to poor roads.
Almost 50% of Manitoba’s highway-kilometres were rated to be between very poor and fair condition.
“Although only 15% of the nation’s roads are rated poor or very poor, these roads are responsible for most of the extra operating costs – especially on the arterial, collector and local road networks,” the report explains. “Canadians who have the misfortune of having to rely on these roads for their daily commutes can be faced with costs well above the national average.
“The good news is that over half of Canadian roads are in good or very good condition – so fixing crumbling roads is not an unattainable task. By focusing on repairing the worst roads – or better yet prevent them from deteriorating in the first place – governments can save Canadians money.”
Lorenc said there’s very little to argue with in the report’s conclusions. Indeed, estimates indicate that the cost of reconstructing a road is 6-10 times more expensive than maintaining it, so it doesn’t fall into disrepair.
“This is precisely the message we deliver to all levels of government – let’s know the state of our transportation assets and devise a sustainable investment strategy, both to get our roads back to good condition and to keep them there.”