Halton Region set for a $4 billion infrastructure upgrade in next decade

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By Carlyle Laurie

Special to Ontario Construction News

The Halton Region of Southern Ontario will inject $4.3 billion into infrastructure projects over the next 10 years to help provide clean drinking water, ease traffic movement and build sustainable communities for a better quality of life for the region’s 570,000 residents.

Transportation and water upgrades account for a majority of fund allocations with smaller sums being set aside for planning, police, asset management, waste management and Information Technology.

“Over the next 10 years, the Region of Halton will be investing $2.2 billion into water and wastewater capital, which is further broken down to development and state-of-good-repair programs,” Jim Harnum, Deputy CAO and Commissioner of Public Works of Halton, said.

“The balance of the 10-year capital program of approximately $1.7 billion is intended towards transportation works,”

Halton is made up of four communities, namely Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville, and is home to more than 13,000 businesses. Gary Carr, Halton’s Regional Chair, in the Budget and Business Plan 2019, detailed how the upcoming investments in key programs and infrastructure would serve individuals and families throughout Halton.

“By investing for today and tomorrow, we help keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire,” Carr said.

The latest forecast from 2019 to 2028 amounts to $4.3 billion, which is $122.2 million higher than the 10-year program which was developed in 2018.

The increase is mainly due to a $67.3 million jump in transportation, a $113.3 million increase in the water and wastewater state-of-good-repair program, and an $8.3 million increase to police which is offset by decreases in the water and wastewater development program and asset management.

“The 10-year transportation capital program will include works that relate to significant road widening, new road, and grade separation programs. This program will also include the active transportation and LED streetlight conversion initiatives,” Harnum said.

“Examples of some of the transportation-related investments of the next 10 years include: $182.0 million for Regional Road 25, $176.8 million for Dundas Street, $175.9 million for Trafalgar Road, $144.9 million for Tremaine Road, $123.9 million for Steeles Avenue, $119.8 million for Upper Middle Road, $84.9 million for roads resurfacing program and related works and $70.5 million for James Snow Parkway.”

Of the $2.2 billion allocated for water and wastewater, $1 billion has been set aside for a development-related program, which includes $362 million to service region-wide capacity-related infrastructure, $496.2 million to service greenfield area related infrastructure, $83.4 million to service built boundary areas related infrastructure and $70.6 million for employment land servicing related infrastructure.

“$1.2 billion is designated to the state-of-good-repair programs. $341.8 million for water distribution and wastewater collection systems rehabilitation and replacements, including the additional expenditures related to the Basement Flooding Mitigation program of $41.8 million. $680 million for plants/facilities infrastructure upgrades and replacements.  $63.6 million for new water meter installations and replacements and $43.7 million for SCADA Master Plan implementation,” Harnum said.

From the overall expenditure of $4.3 billion over the next ten years, 38.9% of the funds will be spent on transportation, 27.5% on wastewater, 23% on water, 3.9% on planning, 1.9% on police, 1.7% on asset management, 1% on waste management and 1.1% on Information Technology.

The region will also invest around $140 million over the next 10 years to improve its housing program, with $102 million allocated for the acquisition of newer housing.

The large scale of planned development in the next decade has prompted the region to hire two construction ambassadors to liaise with the public and to answer any concerns that may arise during major developmental initiatives. The ambassador roles were approved in the regional budget with $217,000 being kept aside for the initiative.

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