This Transportation Asset Management Plan (PDF) outlines the state of Barrie's transportation infrastructure and highlights costs associated with ensuring people can get around Barrie safely and effectively by driving, cycling or walking.
The City is focused on developing the best and most cost-effective approaches for maintaining its transportation network as Barrie grows responsibly, and as the City continues to support and improve the movement of both people and goods.
While the City has made progress on maintaining transportation assets through increases to the Road Resurfacing Program, there has been a historical underinvestment in the City's transportation assets.
By July 1, 2025, the City is required by the Province to outline the costs, risks and benefits of providing different levels of transportation service.
The City's transportation assets include a network of roads, sidewalks, paths, bridges, parking lots and traffic control systems, which make it easy and safe to navigate and get around Barrie. As of 2020, the City owns approximately $1.12 billion in transportation assets, including:
- 1,583 km of roads
- 1,136 km of curbs
- 10 road bridges
- 20,913 traffic control assets (e.g., traffic signals, signs)
- 11,743 illumination assets (e.g., streetlights/lampposts)
- 31 pay-and-display parking lots, in addition to the Collier St. Parkade
- 642 km of sidewalks, walkways and paths
- 21 pedestrian bridges*
- 2 rail bridges
*Most pedestrian bridges are within parks and are considered parks assets. The Transportation AMP includes two pedestrian bridges on the waterfront that are considered part of the active transportation network.
The State of our Transportation Assets
As of 2021, 87.5% of transportation assets are generally in fair or better condition. This means the City has some time to plan and take preventative measures before more of our transportation assets need major maintenance or replacement (which comes at a higher cost). Areas of concern:
- 12.5% or $140.5 million of our transportation assets are in poor or very poor condition (nearing the end of their life).
- Most of these assets are local roads. This means that greater short-term financial investment will likely be needed to repair them.
- Some streetlights are in very poor condition and need repair.
- The Lockhart Rail bridge is in need of replacement.
- The risks of continued underinvestment in transportation operations, maintenance and renewal include:
- Increased costs for maintaining and renewing failing roads and other assets, and a backlog of needs to be addressed.
- A failure to provide adequate services to Barrie's residents, businesses and visitors, as well as to support the city's growth.
- Greater risk from traffic congestion, degraded roads and hazardous conditions for pedestrians and cyclists.
The Cost of Transportation Management
To maintain proper transportation management, the City should ideally spend more money on transportation assets than what is available in the budget. There is a gap between the amount available for spending and the amount needed to properly maintain our transportation assets and the services they provide.
Transportation Asset Funding (Annual Average, 2021–30)
|Budgeted City of Barrie funding||$79.8M / year|
|Actual funding needed to sustain assets||$128.2M / year|
|Funding gap||$48.4M / year|
Breakdown of Needed Transportation Spending (Annual Average, 2021–30)
|Growth & Upgrades|
New infrastructure projects are required to support growth, while certain upgrades are needed for infrastructure to meet current standards.
|$28.8M / year||$70.7M / year||$41.9M / year|
As assets near the end of their life, they need to be rehabilitated or renewed.
|$32.4M / year||$38.2M / year||$5.8M / year|
|Operations & Maintenance|
Assets need ongoing operation and maintenance work to function.
|$18.6M / year**||$19.3M / year||$0.7 M / year|
The $41.9 million per year gap relating to growth and upgrades is largely a function of growth taking place at a slower pace than previously anticipated – this is largely outside of the City's control. Costs relating to growth will be recovered through Development Charges to the greatest extent possible.
To help manage risk and finances related to transportation assets, the Transportation AMP recommends:
- Investigating financial and resourcing implications of expanding the current transportation asset renewal program.
- Providing appropriate funding for operations and maintenance in the context of a growing asset portfolio.
- Continuing to adjust the timing of growth and upgrade projects, as well as associated cost forecasts, as appropriate.
- Emphasizing road preservation activities such as the Road Resurfacing Program and the Crack Sealing Program, as preservation is the most cost-effective form of road maintenance.
Transportation Asset Funding
Current funding sources for building, upgrading and renewing transportation assets include:
|Type of Asset||Funding Sources|
|Growth-related capital transportation projects||Development Charges|
|Transportation upgrades and renewal work|
Property taxes (through the Tax Capital Reserve)
Canada Community-Building Fund (formerly the Federal Gas Tax Fund)
Grant and debt funding
|Operating transportation assets||General property taxes|