Kawartha Lakes is responsible for maintaining almost 2,800 kilometers of roads right across the city. Since 2017, city staff has been mapping the road network, trying to create an accurate database of all roads in the area, including those the roads department has no legal responsibility for.
The director of public works responsible for roads, Bryan Robinson, told council that 4,554 road segments have been mapped and included in the database. A segment is from intersection to intersection or where the service or ownership changes.
The database is also sorting the segments based on ownership, status and services provided to that particular segment of roadway.
Once a road is mapped it is labelled as assumed, unassumed or private. An assumed road is the property of the city and receives full year-round service and maintenance. An unassumed road is not legally the property of the city but may receive some basic services. These roads are still owned by the city. A private road is owned by individuals or a collection of individuals like a cottage association and may receive occasional services from the city.
Robinson told councillors that unassumed roads make up 357 kilometers of the overall road network while private roads make up 285 kilometres.
“City service levels are all over the place for these roads,” Robinson shared. “They vary on an almost road-by-road basis because each of these roads has a unique history.”
“There are minimum standards set by the province for road assumptions,” Robinson said, “and many of these unassumed and private roads do not meet those minimum standards. It will be a significant cost to make those roads assumable,” and become the responsibility of the city.
“There are also roads in the city that begin as an assumed road, continue as an unassumed road and finish as a private road,” Robinson added highlighting the complexity in building the database.
Councillor Doug Elmslie wanted to know if there are assumed city roads that currently don’t meet that minimum standard, and Robinson agreed there are.
The next road database update will be shared with council in 2022.