Let's talk about money.
North Dakota’s transportation system is a tremendous asset. The system was built by our parents and grandparents who believed investing in transportation was important for them and for the future. After generations of investment, the system now has a replacement value of $14.2 billion. Today, the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) is charged with determining how we will invest to ensure that it continues to be an asset for decades to come.
Now, let’s get down to dollars and cents. We created this funding tool to help you better understand a few issues in North Dakota:
- How transportation is funded
- How much you pay to support transportation
- What transportation funding challenges we are facing
With that information we need your help answering the $694M question:How would you spend the budget?
How are we funded?
While more than half of North Dakota’s transportation budget comes from Federal funding, the remainder is split almost evenly between the state fuel tax and vehicle license and registration fees. The majority of Federal funds are dedicated to pay for highway improvement project costs. Historically, North Dakota receives $2 of Federal funds for every $1 North Dakota drivers pay into the Federal Highway Trust Fund.
Your monthly costs
How much do you pay each month?
Select an option from the drop-down menus that is the closest to your driving experience to see how much you pay each month.
How does ND Compare?
In the past decades, North Dakota has increased fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees to account for rising construction costs and to keep pace with a growing number of residents, businesses, and visitors using the transportation system. However, North Dakota’s taxes and fees rank relatively low compared to neighboring states.
Fuel taxes are levied per gallon of fuel sold, not per dollar of fuel price. As cars and trucks get better fuel mileage, we all buy less gas when we drive, and the state receives less revenue.
North Dakota last raised fuel taxes in 2005. Federal fuel tax rates have been the same since 1993. As project costs increase the purchasing power of those fuel taxes decrease.
How much does transportation cost?
North Dakota’s 2020 transportation budget of $694 million may seem large, but with rising costs for services and construction materials and more travelers on North Dakota’s roads, that funding does not stretch as far as it used to.
An Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute Study revealed that investing in our transportation system returns $4.90 for every $1.00 spent. Transportation is a long-term investment in North Dakota’s economy and communities.
North Dakota has more than 8,600 roadway miles on its State Highway System. With simple preventive maintenance costs ranging from $180,000 to $265,000 per mile, 20 to 30 percent of NDDOT’s budget for roads and bridges must be spent on basic repairs each year. This does not count more extensive repairs for roads and bridges with higher levels of wear-and-tear or weather-related damage.
Our funding challenges
North Dakota’s state transportation revenues are heavily dependent on motor fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees. Motor fuel taxes are levied per gallon, not per dollar. As fuel economy improves, people buy less gas and the state receives less revenue.
To maintain our infrastructure at current levels of service, NDDOT would require $24.6 billion over the next 20 years. But at current funding levels, NDDOT expects only $10 billion in revenue. This equates to a gap of $14.6 billion*.
Move ND, NDDOT’s 10-year infrastructure plan, has identified $2.2 billion in critical investments for the highway network over the next 10 years to maintain key system components and minimize freight restrictions. This estimate does not take into account expanding capacity on the network to carry more traffic.
NDDOT is currently in preservation mode, meaning we focus the majority of our resources on maintaining the transportation system as it exists today. While some new projects get built, we are losing ground. Our system is deteriorating faster than we have resources to preserve it.*UGPTI 2018 study
Where should we invest?
NDDOT measures road and bridge performance on a regular basis so that we invest funds when and where they are needed. Investments are made to preserve assets in good condition, to limit the risk of future wear-and-tear, to minimize future costs, and to ensure that the system works for you.
The example below highlights the range of outcomes for maintenance and repair activities for state roads and bridges. Today, NDDOT invests enough funding to maintain roads and bridges in fair to good condition. But increased travel and decreased revenue from fuel taxes point towards a long-term decline in the condition and performance of our roads and bridges.
ACTIVITY: Your investment preferences
Slide the green dots to set your expectations for each area. Invest as little or as much as you choose and see if you're investing more or less than what is currently available.
|Investment Area||Set Your Expectations||Investment Outcome||Total Investment|
Long Moderately Long Moderately Short Short
Services exist as they do today. The average DMV wait time is 30 minutes. Motor registration wait times are as long as they are today.
Some facilities have kiosks. The average DMV wait time is 21 minutes. Motor registration wait times are ¾ as long as they are today.
A majority of facilities have kiosks and online services are offered. The average DMV wait time is 10 minutes. Motor registration wait times are ½ as long as they are today.
Almost all facilities have several kiosks. Online services and smartphone apps are offered. The average DMV wait time is 6 minutes. Motor registration wait times are ¼ as long as they are today.
Poor Fair Good Excellent
Most roads and bridges have major cracks, ruts, and potholes and result in wear and tear on your vehicle. Driving feels continually rough.
Most roads and bridges have cracks or potholes. Wear and tear on your vehicle is minor. Driving is often rough.
Most roads and bridges have only minor cracks and ruts but have frequent patches and repairs. Driving is mostly smooth.
Almost all roads and bridges have new pavement and are smooth to drive on almost all of the time. Cracks and potholes are quickly filled in on roads throughout the state.
Slowly Moderately Slowly Moderately Quickly Quickly
Most roads take nearly a full day to clear.
Some roads take approximately 10 hours to clear after snowfall.
Some roads take approximately 5 hours to clear after heavy snowfall.
Roads take approximately two hours to clear after heavy snowfall.
Safe Somewhat Safer Much Safer Safest
The system's existing safety assets are maintained in their current condition, but risk falling into disrepair as infrastructure ages.
Safety improvements are installed at high-risk areas throughout the system.
Some of the system includes safety improvements on roads and sidewalks.
Most of the system includes safety improvements on roads and sidewalks.
Poor Fair Good Excellent
The system's pavement, road markings, signs, and roadway landscaping are maintained at minimal functionality.
Some pavement, road markings, signs, and roadway landscaping are well maintained.
Most pavement, road markings, signs, and roadway landscaping are well maintained.
New materials and technologies for pavement, road markings, signs, and roadway landscaping are incorporated into the transportation system.
Difficult Less Difficult Easier Easy
Bike lanes, sidewalks, and pedestrian amenities are available on less than 10% of roads; Transit service is as available as it is today.
Bike lanes, sidewalks, and pedestrian amenities are available on 25% of roads; Transit service is as available as it is today.
Bike lanes, sidewalks, and pedestrian amenities are available on 60% of roads; Transit service availability improves by 25%.
Bike lanes, sidewalks, and pedestrian amenities are available on 90% of roads; Transit service availability improves by 100%
Less Efficient Moderately Less Efficient Moderately More Efficient More Efficient
The freight system is maintained in its current condition, but risks falling into disrepair as infrastructure ages.
Height/width restrictions for trucks are removed from critical freight corridors, critical short line rail lines can carry heavier loads.
Most state roadways have no height/width restrictions for trucks and some short line rail lines can carry heavier loads.
Almost all state roadways have no height/width restrictions for trucks and almost all short line rails can carry heavier loads.
Your Investment Total:$0 M
Total Compared to Available Budget*:+$0 M
*The available budget is the amount of money that NDDOT can invest in its services and assets after deducting fixed costs from its total budget.
Increase/Decrease in Monthly Contributions:$0 M
ACTIVITY: Your funding preferences
You've learned more about how transportation is funded and what challenges we face in meeting our future needs. You've also set your own budget priorities and invested in North Dakota's transportation system and have seen how that investment compares to current levels. Now, how would your contribution to transportation change?
Increase/Decrease in Monthly Contributions:$0 M
*Based on your answers on the previous slide.
Enter in your preferred dollar amount below to meet the increase/decrease in monthly contributions total listed above.
These changes would result in a change of $0 million to support our transportation system and services.
Your average monthly contribution would be $0.00
NDDOT provides additional information to the public on how transportation is funded and how those funds are used. Check out the following links and resources to learn more.