"The nation's infrastructure faces some very real problems," says Andrew Herrman, chair of the advisory council for the report card, in ASCE's press release, "problems that pose an equally real threat to our way of life if they are not addressed appropriately." Although the full report won't be ready until March 25th, the details of this preliminary report card paint an urgent picture. More than a quarter of the country's bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. The maintenance backlog for dams is ballooning, as 1,819 dams with high hazard potential are now considered deficient. And the report card's newest infrastructure category, added for the first time this year, might be the most disturbing. The nation's levees received a D-. Like drinking water systems, levees are on the verge of failure, with lives hanging in the balance behind their crumbling walls. Engineers Give U.S. Infrastructure a 'D', Seek $2.2 Trillion in Stimulus: ASCE 2009 Infrastructure Report Card - Popular Mechanics He blamed infrastructure for a 2008 salmonella outbreak that sickened more than 250 people in Alamosa, Colorado. "And that's just the tip of the iceberg," he said. Much of this is blamed on age. A large part of the U.S. water delivery system dates back to the years shortly after World War II. "Now it's time to replace that system and we've got to make those investments or we'll suffer the consequences," said Goldstein. Experts: U.S. water infrastructure in trouble - CNN.com He said the U.S. experienced thirty bridge collapses between 1980 and 2009, but bridges are collapsing more often in recent years. In the 29 months from January 1, 2010 until June 1, 2012, there were 22 bridge collapses or failures in this country, said Galarnyk. Thats one bridge collapse or failure every 1.3 months. Conferees: Federal Transportation Funding in State of Crisis Clearly, Americans hold the nation's infrastructure in high regard. Nearly nine in ten (89 percent) Americans feel its important for the federal government to fund the maintenance and improvements of interstate highways. Yet, this infrastructure isnt receiving the fiscal attention it deserves. Congress recently approved the ninth extension of transportation legislation that originally expired in 2009. The Highway Trust Fund due to inflation, rising construction costs and increasingly fuel efficient vehicles no longer collects enough money to support the U.S. surface transportation system, remaining solvent only through a series of infusions from federal general revenue funds. More than half of Americans (57 percent) believe the nations infrastructure is underfunded. Americans Value Highways and Bridges as a National Treasure A bridge collapse in southern Colorado is forcing drivers to take the long route along a scenic byway that runs west from Trinidad to the Sangre De Cristo mountains. No injuries in southern Colorado bridge collapse Republicans are willing to spend a trillion dollars rebuilding Iraq, but nothing for this country. Maybe women should wear burkas. Maybe Republicans will then support this country?