In November 2011, Council of the Municipality of Bluewater approved By-law 97-2011, being a by-law to adopt Ontario Regulation 239/02 Minimum Maintenance Standards for Municipal Highways as the minimum maintenance standard for the roads within the Municipality of Bluewater.

These minimum maintenance standards are set pursuant to regulation under the Municipal Act, 2001, and establish the minimum standards expected of municipalities in Ontario for certain aspects of the maintenance of the roads, bridges and sidewalks under their jurisdiction.   All minimum maintenance standards including the level of service to be provided are based on the classification of a particular highway. Speed limits and traffic volumes determine their classification.

Within the Municipal Act and in particular the Minimum Maintenance Standards for Municipal Highways, every highway under the jurisdiction of a municipality in Ontario is to be classified according to a specified criteria based on the applicable speed limit and the average annual daily traffic. Within the Municipality of Bluewater, traffic volumes do not meet the set criteria for Highway Classes 1 and 2. Therefore, there exist Highway Class 3 roads, Highway Class 4 roads, Highway Class 5 roads, and finally Highway Class 6 roads (low volume).

The set criteria for highways based on a speed limit of 50 kph is as follows:

Class 3 Highway: Average Daily Traffic = 4,000 to 4,9999 vehicles per day
Class 4 Highway: Average Daily Traffic = 500 to 3,999 vehicles per day
Class 5 Highway: Average Daily Traffic = 50 to 499 vehicles per day
Class 6 Highway: Average Daily Traffic = 0 to 49 vehicles per day

Adopting these minimum maintenance standards including the amendments will be of assistance to ensure public safety as well as ensuring the Municipality has done its due diligence.