Transport: the infrastructure in bad shape in Quebec

News 29 March, 2018
  • Photo jean-françois desgagnés
    Despite the massive investments, the health of bridges, overpasses and interchanges has continued to deteriorate. The bridge of the island of Orleans (photo), as well as other infrastructure, have been identified by the ministry of Transport as being responsible for the explosion of the deficit of maintenance.

    Charles Lecavalier

    Thursday, 29 march, 2018 00:00

    Thursday, 29 march, 2018 00:00

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    The health infrastructure of transport nosed in Quebec and the amount to invest for that they are in a state judged at least satisfactory has jumped to $ 14.7 billion $.

    Despite significant investments, half of the 30 900 km of roads is still in a bad or very bad state, indicate the data published by the treasury Board. But it is the degradation of bridges, viaducts, interchanges which raises even more concern.

    The average condition of the network structures above the ministry of Transport (MTQ) is increased from satisfactory (C) poor (D) this year, while the deficit of maintenance of assets has exploded from $ 5.6 billion to $ 7.9 billion for this category. The proportion of the works in a state of “satisfactory or better” has dropped from 53% to 49 % in one year.

    Palliative care for our old roads

    If we add the deficit of road maintenance, the total liability of the government has reached 14.7 G$, compared with 12.8 G$ last year. For example, Quebec has had to adjust to the increase

    (+$142 Million) the budget for the ” work palliative in the short term “, that allow, thanks to repairs to provide on pavement in a very poor state a “level of quality and security that’s right” the time that they are replaced.

    “The highway system is the backbone of our roads. It is crucial for the economy. […] Not need to get up early in the morning to see the deficit of maintenance on the road network “, says the spokesperson of CAA Quebec, Pierre-Olivier Fortin, in an interview with our parliamentary Bureau.

    Explosion of the deficit of maintenance

    On the side of the infrastructure, the MTQ has identified the culprits : the accelerated degradation of the bridge Charles-De-Gaulle, the Metropolitan expressway, the bridge-tunnel Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine tunnels Ville-Marie and Viger, the bridge of the ile aux Tourtes and the bridge of the island of Orleans, for example. Quebec knew that these infrastructures have become old, but he did not know exactly how much it would cost taxpayers to maintain them in good condition. He had the answer this year : $ 2.4 billion, “due to the finding for the first time of the financial assessment complete major work planned for the sustainability” of these infrastructures. This is the main cause of the explosion of this maintenance deficit.

    At CAA Quebec, it is recognized that the government has devoted large sums to the repair of roads and infrastructure, $ 16 billion over the next 10 years. “But what we are saying as well as motorists, it is that we are entitled to expect a road network efficient and secure. Between expanding the network and maintaining what is deteriorating, for us, the choice is clear, it is necessary to maintain what is a. It is a matter of primary security “, says Mr. Fortin.

    A network in a poor state

    What is the meaning of the deficit of maintenance of assets ?

    It represents the cost of the work to make it in at least one state, satisfactory (C) roads in poor (D) and in very bad condition (E).

    Category ” D ” Wrong

    “The infrastructure has a high level of degradation and malfunction. […] Usually, the infrastructure is beyond its useful life. The need, important steps to mitigate the risk are in place. “

    Category ” E ” Very poor

    “The infrastructure presents a very high level of degradation and malfunction. The equipment requires the work of maintenance of assets are very important and often urgent […] and significantly exceeds its useful life. “

    ► 50 % of the roads are in a bad (D) or very poor condition (E).

    ► 51 % of the infrastructure, depending on the value, are in a bad (D) or very poor state, (E)

    Deficit of maintenance of assets


    2017 :$6.3 billion

    2018 :$6 billion


    2017 : 5.6 G$

    2018 : 7.9 G$