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Benchmarking Municipal Roads – the Ontario Experience


The Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA) has for the past several years been encouraging municipalities to adopt performance measurement as a management tool for their roads program. To accomplish this task OGRA has championed a team of road practitioners to undertake the development of activity maps, corresponding definitions and for the past four years gather and report data regarding municipal roads operations. From the annual data collection and the resulting report, trend lines showed after the four years of review that one municipality was consistently delivering winter control services at a lower cost per lane kilometre than other similar municipalities. To determine why this municipality was consistently lower in cost a case study was undertaken with another municipality who was consistently delivering winter control services at a higher cost per lane km. Both municipalities were similar in that they both provide service on high volume arterial road systems, both have a bare pavement standard and both have similar terrain and received approximately the same amount of snow in the same number of snow events per year. The case study mapped each municipality’s policies, practices and procedures to determine what policies, practices or procedures may require improvement in order that the higher cost municipality could achieve the same level of expenditure as the lower cost municipality should they so desire. This case study identified six main factors which could be attributed to driving up the cost to deliver winter control service for the high cost municipality. The case study also points out which of these six factors should be the subject of a future benchmarking initiative between the two municipalities. 

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Anderson, B
Construction, Maintenance and operations