Today, civil engineers in Montana released the 2018 Report Card for Montana’s Infrastructure at the State Capitol. Montana earned an overall grade of a “C,” meaning the state’s infrastructure systems are generally in mediocre condition. The Report Card graded ten categories: bridges, drinking water, dams, energy, rail, roads, schools, solid waste, stormwater, and wastewater.
Rail earned the highest grade in the Report Card with a “B.” Montana’s railways have benefited from recent private and public investments and the rail network across the state is in good condition. In contrast, Montana’s schools received the lowest grade of a “D-.” The average age of a school facility in Montana is 53 years old, and while funding has been set aside for crucial safety repairs, schools still face funding gaps and are struggling to provide students with a safe, healthy, and productive educational environment.
The Report Card also took a look at transportation-related categories, including roads, which earned a “C-” and bridges, which earned a “C.” Montana’s roads are among the least crowded in the country, but nearly half are in poor to mediocre condition. 7.3% of Montana’s total bridge deck area is rated as poor/structurally deficient. The state legislature passed a gas tax in 2017 to provide the state with additional funding for maintenance, preservation, and rehabilitation of transportation infrastructure. Projects using this additional revenue are currently underway.
The Montana Infrastructure Report Card Committee also offered solutions to address the state’s infrastructure needs. Recommendations included increasing infrastructure investment and exploring innovative funding solutions, particularly finding a mechanism to collect revenue from the many visitors to the state. The Report Card also recommended building resilient infrastructure to prepare for the state’s growing and changing population.
The Montana Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) published the 2018 Report Card for Montana’s Infrastructure. You can read the full Report Card for Montana’s Infrastructure at www.infrastructurereportcard.org/Montana.