A recent report card from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave the state of Minnesota a “C” grading for the state of their roads, bridges, water and other public works. The grade of “C” is defined as “mediocre in need of attention.”
The individual grades ranged from a “B” for aviation down to a “D+” for the state’s roads. Bridges, dams, wastewater, and energy received a “C” grade, while drinking water, transit and ports received a “C-“ mark. The report is published once every four years.
“Bridges in Minnesota need more than $8 billion dollars in funding over the next 20 years for rehabilitation and repair needs,” said Katie Zadrozny, a civil engineer who co-chaired the report card effort. The report also noted that the state has at least 100,000 lead pipe water service lines, including that these pipes have been buried under streets for more than a century.
“There are aging water infrastructure systems, many of which were built during the Depression in the 1930s or the 1940s,” said John Linc Stine, former head of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, who now heads the clean water group Freshwater.
Lawmakers have said it’s imperative for the legislature to pass a bonding bill to improve the aging infrastructure and improve the report card grade in four years, especially with the state looking at a projected $9 billion surplus. Rep. Dean Urdahl said bonding is one of the best ways to raise the local match for federal dollars that will be flowing into Minnesota through the new Infrastructure and Jobs Act passed late last year