So much attention was so briefly focused on the state of our bridges and other infrastructure after the Minnesota bridge collapse last year.

No doubt, for the Aug. 1 anniversary, many journalists will be asking if the bridges nationwide are safer today than a year ago. The answer, not surprisingly, is no. These kinds of problems take decades to develop and will take billions of dollars and a lot of political resolve to repair.

USA Today follows up on the story:

It would cost $9.4 billion a year for 20 years to eliminate all bridge deficiencies in the USA, according to the latest estimate, made in 2005, by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

A USA TODAY review found that beefed-up inspections since the collapse led 16 states to close bridges, reduce weight limits or make immediate repairs. All states inspected bridges designed like the one that fell. Some, including Arizona, Delaware, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Tennessee, conducted broader reviews to identify bridges needing the most work.

South Carolina and Wisconsin are installing high-tech sensors that record the deterioration of a bridge, which inspectors can track on the Internet.

Arkansas is training assistant building inspectors to team with bridge inspectors so there are two sets of trained eyes at an inspection.

Twelve percent of the nation's bridges are structurally deficient, according to the Federal Highway Administration, meaning they are not unsafe but are so deteriorated that they must be closely monitored and inspected or repaired. That percentage has crept down. In 1997, it was 15 percent.

Resources

Msnbc.com built a site that lets you check the condition of bridges that you cross every day. Here are some of the links to msnbc.com's work: