Pittsburgh Bridge collapses hours before infrastructure speech in the city of Biden | Pennsylvania

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It’s hard to imagine a more dramatic way to explain the need for investment in US infrastructure that Joe Biden was set up to discuss in Pittsburgh. PennsylvaniaOn Friday.

A few hours before his visit, just four miles from where the president was supposed to speak, one of Pittsburgh’s major motor bridges collapsed.

Around 7 am, a 477-foot-long bridge on Forbes Avenue collapsed, leaving concrete rubble and twisted metal lumps as a visual metaphor for America’s collapsing infrastructure.

At least 10 people were injured, three of whom were taken to the hospital and left behind in the wreckage of buses and several cars. Rescue teams had to rappel down the hillside to reach the injured, Pittsburgh Post Gazette..

After the bridge collapses, the vehicle remains stuck. Photo: Jeff Swensen / Getty Images

“If this happened an hour later, it’s probably a road with about 15,000 cars a day, and if it was rush hour, you’d see hundreds of cars in the valley.” Said Corey O’Connor, Pittsburgh City Council member. “I was very lucky today. I hope the people in the hospital will recover quickly and be able to return home safely in a few days.”

“The president is grateful to the first respondents who rushed to help the drivers who were on the bridge at the time,” the White House said in a statement.

Mike Doyle, Democrat of the Pittsburgh region, Said The collapse of the bridge was “a tragic example of why Congress just needed an infrastructure bill. To prevent bridges and other public works from reaching this point of devastation, we are always on infrastructure. I need to invest more. “

The timing of the disaster was amazing. Biden was visiting Pittsburgh to promote a $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure package that signed the law in November after passing parliament with the support of a very rare bipartisan.

The bill is designed to inject resources that are highly needed to repair major national infrastructure such as roads, railroads, drinking water and bridges. Under this scheme, Pennsylvania has been allocated $ 1.63 billion in federal funding, especially for bridge improvements.

The Forbes Avenue bridge itself tells the story. The structure was built in 1972 and is 52 years old, above the national average of 44 years for bridges in the United States. According to a recent report from a city inspector, both the deck under the road and the superstructure were in poor condition.

The story is a story that is repeated all over the country. Years of inadequate public investment have degenerated and degraded critical structures and networks. 6 people were killed Catastrophic bridge collapse In Miami, Florida in 2018.

Emergency vehicles are parked at the end of the collapsed bridge.
Emergency vehicles are parked at the end of the collapsed bridge. Photo: Gene J Puskar / AP

Last year, the American Society of Civil Engineers investigated the status of US infrastructure and it C minus..Report I got it Of the 617,000 bridges in the country, 42% are at least 50 years old and more than 46,000, or 7.5%, are structurally defective and in poor condition.

From a social perspective, the United States needs not only urgent funding to repair the bridge, but also an increase in regular investment from the current $ 14 billion annually to $ 23 billion.

Again, Pennsylvania tells a story. The state is fourth in the National League table in terms of its proportion of structurally defective bridges. Following Rhode Island (22%), Iowa (19%) and South Dakota (17%), 15% of the bridges are in poor condition.

Pittsburgh politicians linked the collapse of the Forbes Avenue bridge to Biden’s visit. Mayor Ed Gainey said he was lucky that no one died, adding that “we know we have a bridge that needs to be taken care of.”

“It’s important today to discuss this infrastructure bill and why this funding is so important,” Biden said on the same day as the disaster.

The infrastructure bill was one of the rare cases when a slight agreement was reached between the two major political parties, both recently and during Biden’s presidency. The package passed the House of Representatives with 228 to 206 votes in November and was endorsed by 13 Republicans.

Immediately after the Senate blessed 69 votes in 30Clears the 60-vote filibuster that has frequently strangled Biden’s initiative.

Pittsburgh Bridge collapses hours before infrastructure speech in the city of Biden | Pennsylvania

Source link Pittsburgh Bridge collapses hours before infrastructure speech in the city of Biden | Pennsylvania

The post Pittsburgh Bridge collapses hours before infrastructure speech in the city of Biden | Pennsylvania appeared first on Eminetra.

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