Bridge collapse in Pittsburgh – Biden: Thousands of bridges in the U.S. in need of rehabilitation
Shortly before the U.S. President’s visit to Pittsburgh, a snow-covered bridge collapsed there. Biden promised to move forward with his infrastructure package.
Updated: 29.01.2022, 10:41
Following the collapse of a bridge in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, President Joe Biden has called for greater efforts to rehabilitate up to 45,000 dilapidated bridges in the country. "We don’t need headlines saying people were killed when the next bridge collapses," Biden said Thursday (local time) during a visit to the city of Pittsburgh.
"We must act now," he urged. The huge infrastructure rehabilitation package he is pushing through Congress will help rehabilitate thousands of bridges, he promised.
Before a long-planned speech in Pittsburgh, Biden had visited the site of the snow-covered bridge collapse on Thursday morning. "Their condition has been classified as deficient for ten years," Biden said. At the scene of the accident, Biden had thanked rescue workers for their efforts, among others. "We will rebuild the bridge," he said.
Three injured, no fatalities
According to Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey, there were no fatalities in the collapse. Three people were injured. "We’ve been lucky," he said. The bridge, a major transportation link for the city, was last inspected last September, he added.
On pictures a public bus and some vehicles could be seen on the remains of the bridge. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) sent an initial team of experts to the accident site to investigate the cause of the accident.
Largest infrastructure package since 1950s
Biden signed a package of bills last year to modernize the country’s infrastructure. Around 550 billion U.S. dollars in new infrastructure investments are planned over the next few years. In total – including funds already budgeted in advance – the package is worth more than one trillion U.S. dollars. The infrastructure offensive is one of the core domestic projects of Biden’s term in office.
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Congress passed the largest investment package of its kind in the U.S. since the 1950s in early November. The money will go toward roads, bridges, ports, rail transit, new water lines, electric car charging stations and an expansion of broadband Internet, among other things.
In Pittsburgh, Biden planned to visit the former Mill 19 steel smelter. In the factory built in 1943 more than one million tons of steel were produced per year in former times. Today, it is home to an institute specializing in high-technology research and development: Carnegie Mellon University’s Manufacturing Futures Institute (MFI). The site is now seen as a symbol of the rebalancing of the U.S. economy in the 21st century. Century.