1  Efficiently preserve and maintain the transportation system

Efficiently preserve and maintain the regional transportation system in a state of good repair.

1.1 Bridge condition

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) uses a measure to assess system-wide trunk highway bridge performance. The measure is the Bridge Structural Condition Rating. Based on the National Bridge Inventory (NBI) scale from 0 to 9, this measure uses a combination of condition code and appraisal rating to assign a good, fair, or poor condition 1.

Figure 1.1: Percent of Twin Cities bridge surface area in ‘Good’ condition

Bridge condition in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) area, as well as Statewide, has worsened since 2015, with the percentage of bridges (weighted by surface area) falling into the “poor” category increasing by 0.6% per year on average. In the most recent year of measurement (2021), the percent of bridges in poor condition was 4.5%, just under the MnDOT-set target of 5%.

Figure 1.2: Percent of Twin Cities bridge surface area in ‘Poor’ condition

Of the bridges in poor condition, there are three bridges that make up the bulk of this surface area in 2022: I-494 over the Minnesota River, MN-65, and MN-3 over the Mississippi River. The graphic below shows the MPO bridge surface area in poor condition by bridge. The I-494 bridge over the Minnesota River alone comprised 2.2% of total regional bridge surface area. This bridge is set to be rehabilitated in the 2023-2026 MnDOT Capital Highway Investment Plan (CHIP) and is anticipated to materially affect this measure.

Figure 1.3: MPO bridge surface area in poor condition by bridge, 2021

1.2 Pavement condition

Pavement condition reflects the overall ride quality of the highway system. The Met Council, in coordination with MnDOT, sets two and four year targets for both the interstate highway system and all other highways that are on the National Highway System (NHS). During the most recent performance period (2023), the Met Council adopted the same pavement condition targets as MnDOT.

The pavement condition targets are set based upon the forecasted ride quality of roadways derived from the expected condition and any programmed projects that address pavement. The measure includes overall roughness, rutting, faulting, and cracking calculations. MnDOT predicts when certain roadways no longer meet the acceptable standard and sets targets based upon these predictions. Pavement condition is anticipated to become worse over the next five years.

Generally, more non-interstate NHS roadways within the metro region fall within the poor category than in the state as a whole. Similarly, less pavement in the metro region meets the good condition rating. Overall, both MnDOT and the Met Council have placed greater emphasis on ensuring that pavement does not fall into poor condition, particularly on the Interstate System. This tends to fluctuate from year to year based on programmed projects, but generally an overall small percentage of pavement is categorized as poor annually.

Figure 1.4: Percent of pavement in ‘Poor’ category, divided by location

Figure 1.5: Percent of pavement in ‘Good’ category, divided by location

1.2.1 Pavement condition by road type

Figure 1.6: Twin Cities interstate pavement in ‘Poor’ condition

Figure 1.7: Twin Cites non-interstate pavement in ‘Poor’ condition

Figure 1.8: Twin Cites interstate pavement in ‘Good’ condition

Figure 1.9: Twin Cites non-interstate pavement in ‘Good’ condition