Bismarck, ND – Worn-out roads, crumbling bridges and aging water infrastructure are problems seen across the country. And North Dakota is not immune.
Road work continued Friday in South Bismarck.
“So far this year, our engineering department has released $27 million of maintenance improvement projects,” City Engineer Gabe Schell said.
That covers all sorts of items.
“roads, or sewer systems, or water systems.”
And across the state, it is the same. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, 15% of North Dakota bridges are structurally deficient. 9% of public roads in poor condition, and $600 million will be needed for water and sewer needs over the next 20 years.
“We’ve had estimates of hundreds of millions of dollars of roadways alone to do a good job of building the network that we think we’ll need over the next 15-20 years,” Schell said.
“One of the priorities we have this year is to try and get an infrastructure package done,” Sen. John Hoeven said.
As part of that package, Sen. Hoeven is pushing for the Move America Act.
“What it does is provides tax exempt financing and investment tax credit to attract private financing,” he said.
But there’s still millions of dollars of work that needs to be done.
“It always costs money. While it’s good to have tax free bonds being sold…There’s a funding source for those bonds and those bonds still have to be paid for by the city…There’s really no free money out there,” Schell said.
But money is what it takes to keep up with projected growth.
The legislation is a bi-partisan effort in Congress.