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ND gets a 'C' in infrastructure

Dave Thompson
Prairie Public

North Dakota gets a "C" for infrastructure.

That grade was given by North Dakota's section of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

"Overall, the report card funds that a good portion of North Dakota's infrastructure is in mediocre condition," said Brandon Oye of Moore Engineering, who chaired the ASCE Report Card Committee. "Infrastructure is not receiving the needed prioritization in funding."

The highest grade on that report card is roads, which received a B-. The lowest grade – a D- – went to the condition of dams.

The Society has three recommendations to improve the grade. The first one – implement sustainable funding sources for infrastructure – specifically, raising the gas tax and implementing a new fee for electric vehicles.

"Our current 23 cent per gallon gas tax has not kept up with inflation," Oye told reporters. "Fuel efficient cars are also causing wear and tear on our bridges and roadways, but are not paying their fair share to improve them."

Oye said the Legislature is considering a bill to raise the gas tax by 7 cents a gallon. That would raise another $103 million for roads and bridges. The Society also suggests providing low interest loans for infrastructure, possibly using the Legacy Fund for those low interest loans. And it suggests cities should take a closer look at user fees.

Oye said the group plans to work with Legislators to get this accomplished.

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