Twin Ports Area Receives “C” on Infrastructure Report Card
Aviation and Bridges Receive "B-"; Drinking Water Gets "D"
DULUTH, Minn. – Twin Ports area infrastructure has gotten a “mediocre” rating from the American Society of Civil Engineers.
The group released their infrastructure report card for the region Monday.
The Twin Ports Area earned a “C” GPA on their infrastructure report card. That’s better than the “D+” national average, but local leaders want to see improvements made.
“We all need to step up because we all know how important infrastructure is and what a noble cause it is improving the lives of people across the board everywhere in untold ways,” said U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan (DFL-Minnesota).
The region’s first report card was presented at the Duluth International Airport.
Of seven different categories, aviation and bridges received the highest grade of “B-” while drinking water got the lowest grade of “D” largely because of aging pipes.
“As a nation and a region, we have been living off the depreciation of investments made by our parents and grandparents decades and decades ago,” said Craig Bursch, chair of the Twin Ports Area Infrastructure Report Card Committee. “We must reinvest now to provide the same infrastructure stability to our children and our grandchildren.”
According to the report, it will cost more than $4 million per yer to keep up with pipe replacement.
Leaders say getting this data can make a difference in convincing citizens to invest in areas of need.
“It is so hard to go out to the public and say please pay us more but when people understand where their money is going, they are much more prone to want to support that and to co-invest in that strategy,” said Duluth Mayor Emily Larson.
Mayor Larson is now trying to get approval from the state to implement the half-percent sales tax passed by Duluth voters last year to fund road repairs.
Local leaders say the time is now for federal, state and local governments to make investments in deteriorating infrastructure.