Looking ahead 25 years, here are some of the main issues we’ll be facing:
• There’s a Lot of Infrastructure
Our transportation system includes all the roads, sidewalks and pedestrian paths, bikeways, railroads, shipping channels and port facilities, airports, transit facilities, bridges; traffic lights and signs, as well as maintenance equipment, safety systems and more, that support the movement of people and goods.
• It’s Getting More Expensive
The costs of building and maintaining transportation infrastructure are rising every year. Between 2003 and 2016 construction costs nationally have grown by 68%.
• Funding Shortfalls are Projected
Revenue levels have been decreasing, costs have been increasing, and the Twin Ports is projected to have more than $1 Billion in unfunded maintenance projects by 2040.
• Our Population is Not Growing
The number of people who live in the Duluth-Superior area has not increased for approximately 40 years—which means the per-person tax burden to pay for our infrastructure is increasing.
• We’re Getting Older
In 2010 over 25% of the MIC area was 55 years of age and older, that is projected to increase to 37.5% by 2040. This has significant impacts on our tax revenues as well as the transportation needs of our community members.
• Many of Us Don’t Drive, or are Seeking Alternatives
A significant number of people who live here don’t own vehicles (up to 39% of households in some neighborhoods); many others are too young, too old, or unable to drive (and still have places to go); and a growing number of people are seeking alternatives to driving (for reasons of lifestyle, health, finances or environmental impact).