St. John's seeks help to fix infrastructure issues

The capital city is looking for aid from the province and feds to address a half-billion-dollar repair bill.

City wants aid from feds, province to fund repairs to pipes and roads

St. John's looking for help to address half-billion-dollar fix 2:26

Wayne King knows all about the aging infrastructure in St. John’s. In total, his home on Hoyles Avenue has been flooded 20 times.

"I've lived here for the past 50 years, and there's an aging infrastructure here," King told CBC News.

"I've been advocating this, and I've been fighting with city hall for years and years and years. And they're getting that far behind in infrastructure work finally they have to recognize it's not only here, it's all over the city."

A national report card has concluded that cities face big problems with bridges, roads and other infrastructure.

According to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, fixing them will cost a pretty penny. And that has the mayor of St. John's doing his own calculations.

What's underground, for example.

"We think we're in somewhere between poor and fair [shape] in that particular aspect of our infrastructure, and that's very serious stuff," Mayor Dennis O’Keefe said.

Even more serious is the estimated cost to make the system right. Fixing all the troubles with the roads — and what's under them — carries an estimated price tag approaching $500 million.

O’Keefe says it can be done — with help from the province and the feds.

"If I, along with the other two levels of government, can put together this long term — for example, a five-year program with a pool of money — then we'll be able to deal with a lot of the issues that are currently causing people problems," he said.