What You Need To Know About Minnesota Infrastructure

Have you heard the news?surprised business man

Recently, the ASCE (american society of civil engineers) released it’s Infrastructure Report card!

…Yep …

And  it’s the kind of report card that you might want to conveniently lose on the way home from school.

Let’s start by taking a look at the collective grade for our Nation’s Infrastructure.

(you might want to sit down for this)

The grade we received for Infrastructure Nationwide is (gulp) …  a [D] .

There were many other grades and in many different categories; but  the grade we REALLY should be concerned about– is the grade for our Nations Water and Waste Water Infrastructure.

That grade was  …  a [ D-] !!!

Shocking isn’t it?

Blows my mind really. Here are two of the most critical components [water & sewer] responsible in no small part for …. successful…. thriving…. civilization ….as we know it. And we could only muster a D minus?

Now, before I give you the Minnesota breakdown I want you to know that I do NOT buy into any of the… apocalyptic…. doom and gloom…. the world is going to end tomorrow… crap that we see on television everyday.

This is not that kind of report.

No, what we have here, in the form of the ASCE infrastructure report card is knowledge–Actionable Knowledge!

Are there problems with MN Infrastructure? You bet.

Can we fix those problems? Absolutely!

But first we ALL have to know (you, me, taxpayers, local leaders, elected officials, politicians, regulatory bodies etc) what those problems are.

And like any good business plan, knowing what those problems are is half the battle.


Well … because … a problem that is known is a problem half solved!


You wouldn’t even think of purchasing a business if you did not have (in hand) a complete break-down of:
1. How that business is currently performing
2. Where that business can or should be in 5, 10, 15 and 20 years
3. What it will take to get it there, and most importantly
4. The condition of it’s assets!


Let’s simplify it even more:

Would you buy a car with-out a car fax?

Or buy a house with-out a thorough inspection by a professional?

Probably not.

The ASCE  report card is no different. It tells us where we are now so that we may effectively plan for the future.

Okay … enough ranting.

Let’s cut to the chase …

Here now–without the frosting  and candied sprinkles–is the ASCE report on MN Infrastructure:
•    13% of Minnesota’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
•    There are 23 high hazard dams in Minnesota. A high hazard dam is defined as a dam whose failure would cause a loss of life and significant property damage.
•    72 of Minnesota’s 1,128 dams are in need of rehabilitation to meet applicable state dam safety standards.
•    Minnesota’s drinking water infrastructure needs an investment of $5.46 billion over the next 20 years.
•    Minnesota ranked 27th in the quantity of hazardous waste produced and 23rd in the total number of hazardous waste producers.
•    Minnesota’s ports handled 40 million tons of waterborne traffic in 2005, ranking it 23rd in the nation.
•    Minnesota reported an unmet need of $21.7 million for its state public outdoor recreation facilities and parkland acquisition.
•    32% of Minnesota’s major roads are in poor or mediocre condition.
•    76% of Minnesota’s major urban highways are congested.
•    Vehicle travel on Minnesota’s highways increased 47% from 1990 to 2007.
•    Minnesota has $2.73 billion in wastewater infrastructure needs.

For more information on the ASCE report card  Click Here


-andrew sullivan

About: Andrew works for the Eden Prairie Utilities Division and is one of many BluePrintMN volunteers. Part of his job is ensuring that the wastes produced by 60,000 plus residential and business customers is routed (without incident) south of the Minnesota River to the Blue Lake Treatment plant in Shakopee. To this end, a good deal of time is spent cleaning, inspecting and servicing some 200 hundred miles of sewer pipeline, 22 Sewer Lift-Stations and well over 3,000 Sewer Manholes that make up the City of Eden Prairie’s Sewer Collection System.

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