ADVANCE FOR USE MONDAY, SEPT. 16, 2013 AND THEREAFTER – The sun sets behind the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge over the Anacostia River in Washington on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013. Safety concerns about the Douglass bridge, which carries more than 70,000 vehicles a day, are far from unique. An Associated Press analysis of federal data found 7,795 bridges around the country in significant disrepair and at risk of collapse should a single, vital component fail – a combination of red flags that experts say is particularly problematic. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Motorists coming off the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge into Washington are treated to a postcard-perfect view of the U.S. Capitol. The bridge itself, however, is about as ugly as it gets: The steel underpinnings have thinned since the structure was built in 1950, and the span is pocked with rust and crumbling concrete.