There are more than 600,000 bridges in the U.S. and almost 60,000 of them need work.The concrete use to make many American bridges is cheap and strong, but overtime, it can crack and crumble and it needs to be patched to keep the bridge standing.An engineering professor has developed a bendable concrete.It's about three times the cost of regular concrete but he says builders can use less of it and maintain it less often.
Sixty-eight thousand vehicles cross the Arlington Memorial Bridge between D.C. and Virginia every day.This is what the drivers don't see.
It's just eroding and the concrete is falling off.We have to wear masks and gloves inside of the bridge because this taint is all lead paint.Now, this beam is helping to support the bridge and if you take a look, it's badly corroded and you see how thin that steel is, you see holes in the steel.
The original support beams from 1932 have never been replaced.
We're like a third world country when it comes to infrastructure.
Federal government spending on infrastructure has declined 9 percent from 2003 and 2014.Every state has some degree of bad bridges that need to be repaired.From Los Angeles, where trees are growing out of cracks in this bridge, to Chicago where netting is in place to protect drivers from falling concrete.
The reason we have 57,000 deficient bridges is because we have not made the investment as a national government.
Former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood blames Congress to failing to raise the gas tax in 23 years, which funds projects like bridges and roads.
Have you been against raising the tax because it's just bad politics?
First of all, the economy hasn't been great.Raising the gas tax doesn't solve the long-term funding problem.
As Congress has to figure out this long term solution, bridges crumbling.So, what do we do right now?
Well, our bill, the FAST Act, which we passed in December, the president signed it into law, we put more dollars into focusing on the critical infrastructure.
His Republican colleague disagrees.
It's funded for five years, but we use 10 years worth of gimmicks to pay for it.These are the kind of things that don't make sense.