U.S. News


Scripps News Investigates: America's crumbling bridges

In this episode: investigations into a secret Chinese bio-lab, crumbling American bridge infrastructure and millions of dollars in SNAP thefts.
A bridge in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Posted at 6:20 PM, Mar 15, 2024

This week, Scripps News investigates a Chinese bio-lab hidden in rural America, crumbling bridges across the country in need of maintenance and the secret theft of tens of millions of dollars in benefits from low-income Americans.

A hidden Chinese bio-lab on American soil

Shock after shock: That's what one California code enforcement officer in California said she felt when she came across a secret Chinese bio-lab in the heart of San Joaquin Valley. Her discovery launched more than a dozen local, state and federal investigations, and captured the attention of Congress. Was it an American dream gone awry, or a plot to exploit Americans?

Tracking America's crumbling bridges

Billions of federal tax dollars are going toward fixing America's crumbling bridges. But a Scripps News investigation finds that won't be nearly enough to help thousands that are corroded, cracked or at risk of being shut down for safety.

Fixing bridges has been a centerpiece of President Joe Biden's administration. In the first three years of his presidency, federal funds have helped pay for thousands of bridge repairs and replacements nationwide. But some 14,000 bridges identified in a Scripps News analysis have been rated in poor condition for at least a decade — and experts say the number isn't going to go down.

Families see their SNAP benefits stolen

A federal program helping millions of Americans feed their families is being targeted by thieves. Even before beneficiaries have a chance to buy their groceries, their benefits are being stolen.

More than 20 million low-income households in America get money from the government loaded onto special debit cards through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. 

But a Scripps investigation has shown these benefits are being stolen from families who use SNAP across the country. Thefts have deprived families of needed food and cost American taxpayers more than $70 million.