- Click here to access the interactive infrastructure maps. Internet Explorer versions prior to version 11 may not display properly.
Minnesota has a vast amount of infrastructure that is aging. This infrastructure protects public health and provides vital services to residents throughout the State. Maintaining, rehabilitating and replacing this infrastructure over the next few decades with limited resources will be challenging and expensive. Many of our communities do not have a large enough population base to spread the costs across.In order to understand the current state of our civil infrastructure, it’s important to understand its age, value and condition statewide. Seeing the lack of comprehensive information on the state of our civil infrastructure and what the needs might be, the State Auditor and a team of collaborators including the University of Minnesota (U of M), the League of Minnesota Cities (LMC), MN2050, Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), Minneapolis Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), and the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority (MPFA) worked to create a series of interactive maps to illustrate data on Minnesota’s infrastructure. These maps, for the first time, visualize existing city infrastructure data from various sources in state government community by community statewide.
How to Use
- Click here for video instructions on using the State Auditor's Infrastructure Stress Transparency Tool (approx. 5 minutes)
The maps are interactive. Once you click on the map icon on this page, you will see a statewide map. The first map to display is the Collection Sewer System Age. The Legend tab, open on the left of the screen, indicates what the color and size of the dots on the map represent. You can select the infrastructure map view of your choosing from the drop-down menu on the left.To zoom in or out on a specific area of the state simply roll the wheel on your mouse or use the plus-minus buttons on the upper left of the map. When you want to return to the statewide map view, click on the house icon on the upper left-hand corner of the map. You can view more detailed data on a specific city by either typing the city name in the box at the top of the map or clicking on the city dot. When you select a city, you will see more detail about the city data to the left of the map. For graphics displayed in this left column, hover your cursor over the graphic to see more detailed information on the infrastructure. If you would prefer a light-colored background on the maps, click on the Light Gray Canvas button on the bottom left-hand corner of the map. If you want more information on the data used for the maps, click on the Data Description tab on the left. There is a description of the source of the data and how it was collected.
The data displayed in the maps comes from multiple sources in state government:
- Wastewater data: self-reported data from the 2016 Wastewater Infrastructure Needs Survey (WINS) from the MPCA. The MPCA administers this survey to communities biennially
- Drinking water data: information regularly collected for the Drinking Water Revolving Fund Survey (DWRFS) by the MDH and combined over an 18-month period
- Financial data: from the Annual Financial Reporting Form (AFRF) submitted to the Office of the State Auditor (OSA) annually on a calendar-year basis. The city enterprise fund data is reported and verified against audited and unaudited financial statements
The current civil infrastructure data displayed is only the beginning of this project. The team wants to add infrastructure data from Special Service Districts, counties and other local governments to the maps. City leaders want data included for local streets and bridges. There is limited existing data on local roads and bridges, but some cities have expressed a desire to work on a pilot project to submit data specifically to be displayed on the map.Further development of the map will require funding. The team is currently exploring funding options. Any funding obtained will go directly to the University of Minnesota’s U-Spatial to continue building out the maps.
The goal of these comprehensive maps is to improve public policy/long-term financial planning and asset-management planning for our civil infrastructure throughout Minnesota's 853 cities and other local governments. By improving transparency of our infrastructure needs, all residents, local elected officials, legislators and governors will have a more comprehensive understanding of the total need over the next few decades statewide. This understanding can accelerate better planning, stabilize rates for users, and avoid major service disruptions due to inaction.
The Infrastructure Stress Transparency Tool project was supported by a grant from the U of M’s Office of the Vice President for Research to a collaborative project team including the OSA, the LMC, MN2050, MDH, MPCA, and the MPFA. The grant supported the U of M’s U-Spatial program to create the online database and maps. The project grew out of the University’s 2015 Smart Cities and Infrastructure Convergence Colloquium, one of a series of such events that explore new opportunities for collaborative research that engages public, private and nonprofit sector experts with U of M researchers to advance innovative solutions and build long-term partnerships.
If you have questions or comments about the State Auditor's Infrastructure Stress Transparency Tool, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.