The bipartisan infrastructure framework announced in front of the White House days ago would benefit North Dakota. Last week, the White House provided a state-by-state breakdown of each state’s infrastructure needs. If you’ve driven the state over recent years, you know about road and bridge needs. North Dakota’s delegation needs to get behind this framework.

According to North Dakota’s fact sheet, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave North Dakota a C- grade on its infrastructure report card. Robust, statewide investments are needed beyond the piecemeal approach by the Legislature. NDx has pointed out the mechanisms used to fund these important projects have not fulfilled the need. This was due in part to our reliance on volatile commodities to fill “buckets” that were promised to be filled and used. Those promise have been broken from time to time.

Over 440 bridges and more than 830 miles of highway are in need of repair according to the White House fact sheet. 19% of our public transit vehicles are past useful life. Over the next twenty years, the state’s drinking water will require $715 million in additional funding. Though North Dakota has been a leader in connectivity, the bipartisan infrastructure framework would also increase broadband access across the state.

The other week, the Director for North Dakota’s Department of Transportation praised the state’s delegation for their work on infrastructure. When pressed on whether or not they have committed to voting in favor of an infrastructure deal, the Director sidestepped the question. There is no guarantee these needed investments will pass without getting firm commitments from those who have otherwise walked the obstruction line. Contact ND’s delegation and urge them to support this bipartisan framework. If it passes without their support, and ND begins to hire and rebuild, we better not see them for ribbon cutting photo opportunities.

Tyler Axness
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