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Aging Infrastructure

Minnesota’s public infrastructure is aging. Government entities – from small towns to state agencies – have long lists of needed fixes and not enough resources to make them. Waiting longer to do maintenance makes it cost more. To avoid these costs, Minnesota needs to fix its aging infrastructure and consider the life-cycle costs of new assets.

Minnesota’s story is like the rest of the country. Transportation is like other industries. Aging infrastructure, a lack of preventative maintenance and not replacing of assets in poor condition has resulted in leaky pipes, pothole-ridden streets and the inefficient delivery of services. There are many investment needs competing for limited funds. In Minnesota, the average driver spends an estimated $542 per year in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs from driving on roads in poor condition.1

This report focuses mostly on the transportation infrastructure MnDOT is responsible for. However, it is important to consider infrastructure owned by private interests (such as the freight railroads and pipelines) in addition to other government agencies for transportation and non-transportation purposes. Even underground utility systems like water and sewer infrastructure can affect the transportation system if not properly maintained. For local agencies, the needs of other infrastructure often compete with transportation for limited resources.


  1. Key Facts about Minnesota’s Surface Transportation System and Federal Funding,” TRIP, 2019, https://tripnet.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Fact_Sheet_MN.pdf.

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