The Impact of Deferred Maintenance in Minnesota

Status:  Complete
Report Date:  05/27/2022


Rising constructions costs and declining funding are creating an estimated road maintenance deficit of $17.7 billion for state roads over the next 20 years. The pandemic has only increased budget deficits through reductions in local revenues and state support. As upkeep is postponed, the necessary road work grows and material costs increase, resulting in higher future maintenance costs. New research identifies factors that impact maintenance spending, examines how investment decisions are made and provides recommendations to help local governments close maintenance funding gaps. Researchers examined maintenance spending across Minnesota localities, developed case studies and conducted a survey in which representatives from 31 local governments in Minnesota described the size and condition of their roadway networks, challenges with managing maintenance investments, funding gaps and strategies they use to minimize deferred maintenance. Researchers suggest that cities and counties coordinate road maintenance activities; adopt a standard definition of deferred maintenance; and, most importantly, thoroughly monitor and report road conditions, trends and achievements toward targets to keep the public and budget decision-makers well-informed.

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