The Impacts of Deferred Maintenance in Minnesota


Camila Fonseca-Sarmiento, Raihana Zeerak, Haiyue Jiang, Jerry Zhao

April 2022

Report no. MnDOT 2022-08

The roadway system is critical to social development, economic growth, and the overall quality of life. In the U.S., the condition of highways and roads is being compromised due to several reasons including age deterioration, rising costs of construction, and a decline in funding. Similarly, in Minnesota, the majority of pavements are aging and in need of significant maintenance or reconstruction, but there is an expected deficit of $17.7 billion for state roads over the next 20 years. At the local level, pavement conditions along state-aid roads and county, city, and township roads are anticipated to deteriorate significantly based on current funding levels. In addition, significant budgetary impacts on maintenance spending are expected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given these budget limitations, agencies often postpone planned maintenance to make funding available for other transportation purposes, but the deferred maintenance will negatively affect asset life, leading to higher future maintenance costs and lower roadway safety. This research analyzes spatial patterns of maintenance expenditures across localities in Minnesota, explores how fiscal conditions affect maintenance expenditures, and examines roadway maintenance decision-making across localities.

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