At site of collapsed Pittsburgh bridge, Biden touts benefits of infrastructure law

Standing in front of the replacement for the collapsed Fern Hollow Bridge, President Joe Biden returned to Pittsburgh on Thursday, touting the benefits of federal infrastructure law and proclaiming “the resurgence of American manufacturing.”

“Hello, Pittsburgh!” Biden said, opening his remarks to a crowd of about 100 onlookers, which included Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, Lt. Governor John Fetterman, who is running for U.S. Senate, and U.S. Senator Bob Casey, D-Pa. , as well as other local elected officials.

“It’s going to be painfully short,” Biden said, referring to the autumnal chill of the day.

The rapid bridge replacement works, that collapsed one snowy morning in Januarywas a demonstration that “America is the only country in the world that emerges from crises stronger than the ones we entered. … And that’s the story I want to tell here,” Biden said, according to WESA-FM in Pittsburgh.

Biden reached the bridge site around 12:56 p.m. Thursday afternoon, delivering a brief speech that lasted about 16 minutes, according to pool reports.

Biden signed the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill into law last Novemberabout two months before the bridge collapsed on January 28, just as the Democratic president was preparing to visit the city.

And while the money to rebuild it didn’t come from the law, Biden said with the money in the pipeline, state officials were able to shift money already allocated to expedited repairs, WESA reported. -FM.

The repair work, which would normally have taken two to five years, will be carried out within a year, the bridge should reopen this winter, according to WESA-FM and the White House.

The bridge was one of approximately 45,000 in poor condition nationwide that needed to be repaired or replaced, Biden told the crowd, according to pool reports.

“Pittsburgh is the city of bridges, but too many of them are in disrepair,” Biden said, according to WESA-FM. “This is just one of 2,400 bridges across the country that are being repaired this year because of this law.”

Amanda J. Marsh