OGRA Comments on Minneapolis Bridge Collapse

    MISSISSAUGA, ON, Aug. 2 /CNW/ - "Whenever catastrophes like this happen,
you can't help thinking about the possibility of something similar happening
in our own community. We felt it when the Laval bridge collapsed last October
and we're feeling it again with yesterday's bridge collapse in Minneapolis,"
says Joe Tiernay, Executive Director of Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA).
"Ontario has laws requiring that bridges and overpasses be inspected every two
years and I am confident that these inspections are being diligently
performed. It's a priority for municipalities and a priority for the
Province," says Tiernay. Regular inspections allow municipalities to identify
bridges that need repair and to conduct repairs in a timely manner. But while
municipalities are doing as much as they can to maintain their infrastructure,
more funding is needed. "OGRA continues to advocate for sustainable funding
that can be used for long-term planning. Last year the Province provided $400
million to municipalities for road and bridge funding and it was put to good
use. We requested that this funding become a regular part of the budget but it
was not included this year," say Tiernay.
    One tool that OGRA is using to support its advocacy efforts for more
funding is its Municipal DataWorks program. Municipal DataWorks is an
infrastructure information database; a central repository where municipalities
can store, analyze, manage and retrieve information on their infrastructure.
    "Ontario municipalities are accountable for infrastructure assets worth
billions of dollars. Managing these assets requires regular assessment of
condition and performance, and determining the costs of repair and
replacement," says Tiernay. "OGRA's Municipal DataWorks is a member service
that helps municipalities to determine and monitor the age and expectations
for their infrastructure assets. It not only helps municipalities better
manage their infrastructure, it provides OGRA and the Province with a central
source of data about the condition of Ontario's infrastructure, and a clear
picture of what funding is needed to maintain it," says Tiernay.

    The Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA) represents the infrastructure
interests of municipalities through advocacy, consultation, training and the
delivery of identified services. OGRA currently serves 416 municipal members
and 21 First Nations communities. Visit www.ogra.org for more information.

For further information:

For further information: Jayne Patterson, Ontario Good Roads
Association, (905) 795-2555 or jayne@ogra.org

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