The infrastructure in the Twin Ports region merits an overall “C” grade. Our infrastructure is mediocre and requires increased attention.
An expert team of over 20 civil engineers and industry professionals from 16 organizations was assembled to evaluate seven infrastructure categories of the Twin Ports area. The results have been reviewed and scrutinized by ASCE’s team of national experts, the Committee on America’s Infrastructure.
As civil engineers, our job is to plan, design, build and maintain our infrastructure networks. We provide for safe modes of transportation at airports, bridges, ports and roads. We provide the public with safe drinking water and protect the public health by disposing of waste in a responsible manner. Without reliable infrastructure, forward looking maintenance programs and adequate funding sources from all levels of government, the Twin Ports region will lose its economic competitiveness.
We have recent success stories in the region: new airport terminals and runways, the Highway 53 relocation project in Virginia, the Port of Duluth Intermodal Project, the Greater Minnesota Transportation Sales Tax, and many others. However, if we assume that the job is complete based on these success stories, we will not be in position to meet the many infrastructure challenges that we still face as a region.
ASCE’s Code of Ethics states that “Engineers shall issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner” and that “Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public.” As such, we take the responsibility of our message in this inaugural Twin Ports Infrastructure Report Card seriously. We present this report card as a fulfillment of our public duty and to inform the public and our elected officials on the state of our region’s infrastructure.
The overarching conclusion is that our region’s infrastructure is currently slightly better than the national average, but backsliding will occur in the next 5-10 years if infrastructure funding issues do not continue to be pushed to the forefront. Click here to read the Twin Ports Area’s Infrastructure Executive Summary.
Our nation’s infrastructure problems are solvable if we have leadership and commit to making good ideas a reality. Raising the grades on our infrastructure will require that we seek and adopt a wide range of solutions.