Minnesota Civil Engineers Give Statewide Infrastructure a “C” Grade

DULUTH, Minn. – Minnesota’s infrastructure is mediocre and requires attention.  That’s according to members of the American Society of Civil Engineers who are from Duluth and Minnesota.

They unveiled their latest report card during an event Tuesday next to the Can of Worms Infrastructure project along Lower Michigan Avenue, as well as in St. Paul.  ASCE releases these report cards every few years, measuring 10 different infrastructures across the state based on eight factors: capacity, condition, funding, future needs, maintenance, public safety, resilience and innovation.

For the 2022 report card, the overall grade of C is the same one that was given in their 2018 report card.  As for each infrastructure category:

  • Aviation got the best grade with a B, with Public Parks second with a B-. That means they are good and are adequate for now.
  • Bridges, Dams, Energy, and Wastewater each got a C, with Drinking Water, Ports, and Transit getting C-.
  • Roads got the lowest grade with a D+, meaning they are poor and at risk of becoming unfit.

“Minnesota agencies and businesses have a lot to be proud of from this report,” says Duluth City Engineer Cindy Voigt, “particularly for their statewide efforts improving the sustainability of each of our infrastructure networks.  However, it is important that no sector be left behind in state and communities dialogues so that the cumulative grade can rise.”

With a number of infrastructures nearing the end of their useful lifespan, AFSE is advocating for long-term sustainable funding measures to update them.  They point to Duluth’s half-percent sales tax that increased funding for road projects from two miles to 14 miles a year.

“If other cities had long-term infrastructure funding like we did to do streets, to do water, to do waste water, to do storm water,” says Mayor Emily Larson, “these grades would look a lot different.”

They are also asking Minnesota’s Legislature to pass Capital Investment bills to properly fund local road improvements and water systems, as well as match all funding required by the federal infrastructure bill passed last year so the state can get the most money from it.

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