Engineers give Twin Ports infrastructure an average grade - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Engineers give Twin Ports infrastructure an average grade

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Mediocre is the best way to describe it. 

The Twin Ports area didn't see any failing grades, but there wasn't anything above a B-either, meaning the Twin Ports receive a C.

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, which puts the infrastructure report card together every four years, this means our infrastructure at the very least needs work to ensure it works well into the future, and at worst, is at risk of failing. 

From our Roads, to our ports, to the skies, Congressman Rick Nolan argues there's nothing more universal in the world of politics than infrastructure.

"It's so well studied and so recognized the world over the importance of infrastructure if you want to have good jobs, if you want to have good quality of life if you want to have good opportunities for business growth," he said.

Still, Twin Ports report card committee chairman Craig Bursch knows, a C may not be the infrastructure GPA we were looking for. 

While it's better than the national average of a "D+," local leaders see plenty of room for improvement.

"Some of the worst roads I hate to say it are in the city of Duluth," Bursch said.

That improvement he argued takes dedicated funds, advocacy and gratitude for those working to get there projects done, which is why when it came to Mayor Emily Larson's dedicated sales tax increase for streets, the engineers were agreed that's what it takes to raise these mediocre grades.

"When they say, 'Oh we can't afford this.' No we can. It's all about our priorities. It's all about paying it forward," Nolan said.

But the engineers were quick to remind people roads are simply one area studied, and not even our worst grade.

Lack of pipe repair and replacements puts our drinking water infrastructure at a D.

"These infrastructure updates have a real bottom line for the average everyday citizen."

According to Bursch, the bottom line comes out to $3000 per person. He said investing in and advocating for infrastructure allows the government to pay it back.

Our two top scoring categories are bridges and aviation, primarily because of recent repairs on the Blatnik and Bong bridges as well as renovations to our airports. Both scored a B-.

You can have a full look at the infrastructure report here.

We're expecting to learn more Monday about just how safe the Twin Ports' infrastructure is.

The Duluth Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers is releasing their 2018 infrastructure report card Monday. In it, they evaluate things like the region's aviation, bridges, drinking water, ports, roads, solid waste, and wastewater. 

Several of our area's top lawmakers, including Congressman Rick Nolan and Duluth Mayor Emily Larson will help make the announcement. 

Check back throughout the day for updates.

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