The inaugural 2018 Report Card for Minnesota’s Infrastructure was released by the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) Minnesota Section Tuesday, giving nine categories of infrastructure an overall grade of “C.” The report includes an evaluation of the state’s aviation, bridges, dams, drinking water, energy, ports, roads, transit and wastewater.

The Duluth Section of ASCE released a similar report in March for the Twin Ports Area’s Infrastructure, also giving an overall grade of "C." That compares with a "D+" nationwide.

Statewide, aviation earned the highest grade of a “B.” The report notes that in 2017, Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport and reliever airports underwent $455 million in improvements. On the other hand, Minnesota’s roads are in poor condition, earning a grade of a “D+," the same grade given Duluth-Superior. The average driver in the Twin Cities spends 41 peak hours in congestion each year, averaging a cost of $1,332.

“Reliable infrastructure is key to preserving Minnesota’s successful economy and high quality of life. Today’s Report Card is a snapshot of how our infrastructure systems are faring and we still have a long way to go to bring them up to good standing,” said Jason Staebell, P.E., chair of the Minnesota Infrastructure Report Card Committee and president of the Minnesota ASCE Section. “We use our infrastructure systems daily to take us to work, deliver our goods, and provide clean water. It is time for Minnesota to fund and prioritize the networks that we rely on every day.”

Of note, the report finds:

  • 5.4% of bridges in the state are structurally deficient, significantly below the national average. 
  • The majority of Minnesota’s dams are over 50 years old and beyond their design life.
  • The 20-year drinking water infrastructure need for Minnesota is $7.5 billion, and wastewater facilities require $236 million annually to fund upgrading and replacing treatment and collection systems.
  • A $450 million investment is needed over the next five years to keep Minnesota’s 50-plus public transit systems in working order.
  • Public transportation throughout the state provides 111 million rides each year.
  • Minnesota’s summer demand for energy is projected to grow 0.85% each year for the next seven years.

The Report Card also offers solutions to address the state’s infrastructure needs. Recommendations include providing sustainable, long-term funding to modernize and maintain the state’s transportation network, as well as implementing robust asset management programs across the infrastructure categories. 

The Minnesota report graded nine categories as follows: aviation (B), bridges (C), dams (C), drinking water (C-), energy (C), ports (C+), roads (D+), transit (C-) and wastewater (C). That compares with ports (C+), roads (D+), solid waste (C+) and wastewater (C+) in Duluth.

The Report Card for Minnesota’s Infrastructure was created as a public service to citizens and policymakers to inform them of the infrastructure needs in their state. Civil engineers used their expertise and school report card letter grades to condense complicated data into an easy-to-understand analysis of Minnesota’s infrastructure network. 

ASCE State Infrastructure Report Cards are modeled after the national Infrastructure Report Card, which gave America’s infrastructure a grade of “D+” in 2017. 

A full copy of the 2018 Report Card for Minnesota’s Infrastructure is available at www.InfrastructureReportCard.org/Minnesota