Deteriorating Bridges Uncovered in CBC Investigative Series

"Sudbury's Big Fix" shines light on one city's looming infrastructure crisis.

Deteriorating Bridges Uncovered in CBC Investigative Series
Irving, TX, November 09, 2013 --( The deteriorating state of our aging infrastructure has made headlines across the United States as our bridges crumble, highways buckle and long-term repairs are routinely delayed at the federal and state level. Several well-publicized, catastrophic failures in recent years have raised public consciousness about the evolving infrastructure crisis, yet little is being done to address the issue.

These problems are not limited to the U.S., however, as a recent investigative report by CBC News in Canada vividly illustrates. In its four-part series, Sudbury’s Big Fix, which examined the state of bridges in Greater Sudbury, Ontario, CBC learned that at least a dozen bridges and culverts in the city have exceeded their designated lifespan and require roughly $6.4 million in repairs, far exceeding the available funds budgeted.

Data gathered by CBC also found that the average age of bridges in Sudbury is roughly 45 years. With an expected lifespan of about 50 years, several more bridges will soon need to be replaced or undergo costly repairs, further exacerbating the infrastructure and budgetary pressures.

“CBC did an excellent job bringing to light a problem that is getting worse by the day in cities across North America,” said Matt Childs, president of the American Concrete Pipe Association (ACPA), the voice of the concrete pipe industry. “What they discovered in Sudbury is far from unusual. In fact, it’s becoming the norm as our legislators continue to kick the proverbial infrastructure can down the road. And as they do that, repair costs climb and the likelihood of a catastrophic event increases.”

Gerry Mulhern, P.Eng., executive director of the Ontario Concrete Pipe Association, was interviewed extensively for the series. Among other things, Mulhern was recognized for raising concerns about monitoring culverts that fall under the province’s legislation for bridge inspections. He also called for a new database to track the condition of all 60,000 culverts under Ontario roads, regardless of size.

“We’ve got a huge problem here. There are 60,000 culverts underneath highways across Ontario, and a large percentage of them are in need of rehabilitation or replacement; but the government simply doesn’t have the funds allocated right now to do what’s required to make these roads safe,” said Mulhern. “This is a major public safety issue, and we ignore it at our peril.”

About the ACPA
Established in 1907, the American Concrete Pipe Association serves as the voice of the concrete pipe industry. The ACPA is a nonprofit organization comprised of manufacturers of concrete pipe and box culverts, manufacturers of equipment and providers of products and services related to the concrete pipe industry. Member companies are located throughout the United States, Canada and more than 40 foreign countries. The Association provides its members with a wide range of research, technical and marketing support to promote and advance the use of concrete pipe for drainage and pollution control applications. For more information, visit

About the OCPA The Ontario Concrete Pipe Association (OCPA) is a nonprofit industry association that promotes high standard business practices and the quality products of its members. Producers of concrete pipe, maintenance holes, box culverts and box sewers, and precast concrete specialty products joined to form the Association, incorporated in 1957. Companies that provide products and services to its producer members are also welcome members. OCPA also provides technical information to specifiers, regulators, contractors and educators. For more information, visit
American Concrete Pipe Association
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