Crumbling infrastructure inspired the president to promote significant federal spending on Jan. 28.
Joe Biden used his visit to Pennsylvania to invite every American to support his administration’s recently signed $1 trillion infrastructure legislation.
Biden blamed outdated engineering for the Fern Hollow Bridge collapse at Frick Park, about 6 miles east of downtown Pittsburgh.
“The idea that we have been so far behind on infrastructure for so many years, it is mind boggling,” he said according to the Associated Press.
The Democrat also acknowledged the deck and steel superstructure constructed in 1970 was poorly maintained. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Bridge Inventory confirmed the bridge was due for major repair work in 2019.
“It really is, it really is—it is astounding,” he said.
He claimed his administration would use taxpayer money to repair all bridges across the United States.
“There are 43,000 nationwide and we are sending the money,” he said. “They are going to fix them all, not a joke—this is going to be a gigantic change.”
The president then pledged to increase funding for law enforcement across the Keystone State.
“By the way, we are going to give you guys more money too—cops,” he said.
The infrastructure package includes about $1.6 billion for Pennsylvania bridge maintenance plus tens of billions more for public transit, highway maintenance and broadband internet expansion.
No deaths were reported due to the Fern Hollow Bridge collapse at the time of publication. Rescuers successfully formed a human chain to safely remove passengers from a dangerously perched bus.
This morning, the Frick Park Bridge collapsed in Pittsburgh. This afternoon, I visited the site and met with local officials. Jill and I are keeping those injured in our prayers, and we’re grateful for the first responders. They deserve an incredible amount of credit. pic.twitter.com/s6JwRiFpRX— President Biden (@POTUS) January 28, 2022