Crumbling bridges, cratered roads and leaking metros

Americans traveling on crumbling infrastructu... 02:29

America's infrastructure is crumbling.

As millions of Americans head out this holiday weekend, they'll drive on roads that are not in very good shape. The American Automobile Association estimates pothole damage alone costs drivers $3 billion a year. Nearly 1 in 10 bridges nationwide is structurally deficient, meaning that while they are safe to use, they are deteriorating and must be regularly monitored, inspected and maintained.

The American Society of Civil Engineers gave U.S. infrastructure a D-plus.

Washington D.C.'s iconic memorial bridge is literally crumbling and is now undergoing emergency repairs.

In Long Beach, Calif. the "diaper bridge" is so called because of the netting needed to keep chunks of concrete from falling onto the traffic below.

The "diaper bridge" in Long Beach, California. CBS News

"This problem is key to our quality of life, it's key to our economy," said Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx.

There hasn't been a willingness to fix things, he said, "because people like groundbreakings, they like openings, but we haven't just taken on the aggressive, uh, routine work of making sure this system stays as healthy as possible."

It's latest indication that nation's infrastr... 02:11

Amtrak estimates it needs an additional $20 billion to restore its existing infrastructure in the Northeast to safely maintain its current service levels.

Under Washington, D.C., the city's troubled metro system is leaking. Decades of temporary fixes has left the nation's second largest metro system falling apart.

New general manager Paul Wiedefeld says "we're at the point where we can no longer can sort of keep pushing this down in to the future and pretend it's not there."

The cost of fixing all the country's aging infrastructure is estimated to be around $1 trillion over the next decade. Experts say if we don't, commutes will get longer, roads will get deadlier and goods will take longer to get to market.

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    Kris Van Cleave is a congressional correspondent for CBS News based in Washington, D.C.