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Biden to proceed with planned trip to Pittsburgh to talk infrastructure after bridge collapse


By Kate Sullivan, CNN

President Joe Biden will proceed with his planned trip to Pittsburgh on Friday to talk about strengthening the nation’s infrastructure hours after a bridge collapsed not far from where he is scheduled to deliver remarks, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

The White House is in touch with state and local officials on the ground, Psaki said in a tweet, following the collapse of a snow-covered bridge that officials say left several people injured. No fatalities have been reported, according to the city’s fire chief, and the cause of the collapse is unclear.

The President is “grateful to the first responders who rushed to assist the drivers who were on the bridge at the time,” Psaki said.

Biden was already scheduled to speak about rebuilding the nation’s bridges in his Friday remarks prior to the collapse. A White House official told CNN the President would tout how the funding from the bipartisan infrastructure law is strengthening the nation’s supply chains and infrastructure, including by revamping the nation’s roads, bridges, ports and airports.

The President will deliver his remarks from Carnegie Mellon University at Mill 19. He will also urge Congress to pass legislation focused on boosting the US’ competitiveness by investing in research and development and address supply chain bottlenecks, the official told CNN.

The President has long talked about the importance of fixing crumbling bridges. Just two weeks ago, he announced a new program to repair and replace bridges in poor condition through funding from the bipartisan infrastructure law. While trying to sell the American public on the need to invest trillions in infrastructure he delivered several speeches in front of bridges that needed repairs.

There are more than 43,000 bridges in poor condition across the country, according to 2021 data from the National Bridge Inventory. Experts have argued that updates and repairs of the nation’s infrastructure could play an important role in moving goods and people across the country more efficiently and could help prevent a future supply chain crisis.

The $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law, which Biden signed into law in November, includes $550 billion in new infrastructure investments that range from roads and bridges to airports, mass transit, waterways and energy systems. Ahead of the midterm elections, Biden is expected to get out in the country more to tout the benefits of this law, which is one of his biggest legislative achievements since taking office.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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