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Engineers give Minnesota a ‘C’ on infrastructure report card

October 9, 2018

Minnesota’s infrastructure — including its roads, public transit, airports, wastewater systems and drinking water — earned a grade of ‘C’ from the American Society of Civil Engineers.

In a report released Tuesday, the state’s road system earned a dismal D-plus grade, saying Minnesotans roads are in “poor condition.” The average driver in the Twin Cities spends 41 peak hours in congestion every year, at an average annual cost of $1,442, according to the report.

On the flip side, aviation in the state earned the highest grade of B. The report noted that the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and reliever airports have undergone $455 million in improvements over the past year.

The report said that the majority of Minnesota’s dams are more than 50 years old, and beyond their design life. In addition, the state’s drinking water infrastructure is in need of a $7.5 billion upgrade, and wastewater facilities require $236 million annually to improve and replace treatment systems.

The report also noted that public transportation systems in the state provide about 111 million rides to passengers a year, but the transit system is in need of $450 million over the next five years to keep it in “working order.”

About 5.4 percent of the bridges in the state are considered “structurally deficient,” significantly below the national average.

The group recommended that “sustainable, long-term funding” is needed to modernize the and maintain the state’s infrastructure.

“Reliable infrastructure is key to preserving Minnesota’s successful economy and high quality of life,” said Jason Staebell, chairman of the Minnesota Infrastructure Report Card Committee. Now, “it’s mediocre and requires attention.”

The ASCE’s grade for national infrastructure is D-plus.

Janet Moore • 612-673-7752 @MooreStrib

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