DOT to release 400-page report on nation's aging infrastructure as bridges, roads, rail systems crumble

The U.S. Department of Transportation will release a 400-page report Friday on America's aging infrastructure, sources tell CBS News.

The DOT is worried about potential disasters, similar to major bridge failures in Washington State and Minnesota.

The study highlights a record-setting $86 billion backlog of transit repair projects.

Every day, 180,000 cars and trucks use a 17-mile stretch of Interstate 95 in Philadelphia, Jeff Pegues reported. Brad Mallory, executive deputy secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, or PennDOT, said the structure, which makes booming noises, is sounding of decay.

"This is a structure that ultimately needs to be replaced," he said.

PennDOT says it will cost nearly $1 billion to repair -- 90 percent of that from the federal government.

SETPA -- the city's massive transit system -- is having its own problems. A 91-year old bridge can literally be chipped away with a hammer. SEPTA Deputy General Manager Jeff Knueppel said, "It's not a good situation, and basically...water is moving through the structure."

As the nation's aging infrastructure starts to break down, federal funding is falling behind. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said, "It's a termite in the basement problem. It's literally years and years of slow, steady deterioration in our infrastructure and poor maintenance."

The Department of Transportation estimates that the U.S. needs to spend at leas $124 billion a year to keep roads and bridges in good condition. In 2010, all levels of government combined only spent $100 billion - $24 billion short.

The Obama Administration has called for more infrastructure investment, but any new spending will have a tough time getting through the current gridlocked Congress, especially in an election year.

"It's not gonna happen just because Washington divines it," Foxx said. "It's gonna happen because the people of America demand that we have a 21st-century transportation system."

In Philadelphia, SEPTA would like to update some of its equipment from the turn-of-the-last century. Knueppel said, "It looks like something Frankenstein had in his basement."

The equipment has been powering the trains continuously since the 1930s. Operators are worried it will stop working if they turn it off.


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