The Impact of Deferred Maintenance in Minnesota

Principal Investigator(s):

Camila Fonseca Sarmiento, Director of Fiscal Research, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Project summary:

The roadway system is critical to social development, economic growth, and overall quality of life. In the US, 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 project 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.

Project details:

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