MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — What grade would you put on Minnesota’s infrastructure?
That includes our roads, airports, transit and water supply.
How about a C? That’s the overall grade the American Society of Civil Engineers gave us.
Minnesota’s top grade came in aviation, as Minneapolis/St. Paul International and other airports around the state got a B.
Our lowest grade is D+ for our roads and highways, meaning they’re in overall poor condition.
The study estimates the average Twin Cities driver spends 41 hours in peak traffic a year at a cost of $1,332 per person. This price includes gas, hours lost and wear and tear on vehicles.
More than one engineer warned that Minnesota already witnessed the cost of not caring for infrastructure with the 2007 collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge.
“There is still work to be done,” said engineer Seth Spychala. “Thousands of Minnesota bridges are reaching their design service life.”
Republican State Rep. Dean Urdahl pointed to a new measure enacted by the legislature that will help.
“We did establish a new fund taking a larger portion of the sales tax dedicating it to transportation,” Urdahl said.
But Democratic State Sen. Scott Dibble says that’s not a solution.
“I don’t think anyone is arguing that the transportation bill that was passed just for roads and bridges even begins to get at the issue,” Dibble said.
Minnesota also got a low grade for drinking water, in which the engineers gave the state a C-.
“The drinking water is safe, the infrastructure is safe,” Spychala said.
But the engineers and elected officials say the C- grade is a warning that Minnesota needs to be vigilant.
“We need to improve our drinking water into the future,” Urdahl said.
And while an overall C grade doesn’t sound great, it does put Minnesota above the national average.
The study rates the overall infrastructure of the entire country as a D+.