No one can predict what bridge, levee or water main will fail next. But some problems are widely known, and work is long overdue. As PM's new special report makes blatantly clear, we need to begin rebuilding the nation's infrastructure somewhere. Here are 10 great places to start.
Circle Interchange | Chicago
After years of being ranked two of the worst traffic bottlenecks in the country by groups like the American Highway Users Alliance, both the U.S. 101 at the I-405 Interchange in Los Angeles and the I-610 and I-10 Interchange in Houston are being revamped. But the third-worst spot for highway congestion, Chicago's Circle Interchange, is going nowhere. One parkway and three expressways meet here, and close to 300,000 vehicles a day are forced to reduce speed while navigating a network of tightly curved ramps. The result: an estimated 25 million hours in delays per year. A $975 million expansion project might relieve traffic on one of the expressways, but no plans have been announced to address the congested interchange itself.
Brooklyn Bridge | New York
It's the oldest suspension bridge still being used in the United States, and it is considered "structurally deficient" under the federal rating system. Officials don't fear a collapse of the Brooklyn Bridge-the main span appears to be sound-but some of the approaches to the structure have been marred by rusting steel and deteriorating road decks for many years. Repairs aren't due to start until 2010. If the country wants to signal that it's serious about infrastructure, it has to take care of its national icons.