December 31, 2012 – A dozen blocks from the dome of the U.S. Capitol, a bridge rots away in silence as 70,000 drivers roar across it each day. There is no danger that the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge will collapse into the Anacostia River, District engineers say, but it is falling apart faster than repairs can be made. It needs to be replaced now, at a cost of almost $661 million in a project with an overall price tag of $906 million. Many of the nation’s 600,000 bridges are at the end of their lives, with 70,000 of them officially judged structurally deficient last year. Pennsylvania leads the nation, with 5,906 troubled bridges. Virginia has 1,267, Maryland has 359 and the District has 30.