Pittsburgh bridge that collapsed wasn't on list for infrastructure law funding
The Pennsylvania bridge had poor structural ratings
The Pittsburgh bridge that collapsed Friday morning ahead of President Biden's arrival in the Iron City was not known to be compromised and was not scheduled for maintenance via the federal infrastructure bill, according to government records.
The disaster left three hospitalized and 10 others injured near Frick Park early Friday morning. While no fatalities have been reported and all victims are in stable condition, the massive collapse shook the city and surrounding area.
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The city's 2021 Transportation Improvement program, which was commissioned to allocate federal funds for transportation infrastructure, did not account for the Frick Park bridge.
The bridge was built in 1970. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, which rates bridges on a scale of 0 to 9 — 9 representing the best condition — rated the substructure of the now-collapsed bridge a 6, according to NBC News. The bridge's deck and superstructure had ratings of 4, according to PennDOT.
President Biden stopped by the location of the collapse Friday afternoon. It quickly became a symbol of worsening infrastructure in U.S. cities, and Biden used the destruction of the bridge in his rhetoric since.
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"I've been coming to Pittsburgh a long time – and as a former Pennsylvanian. But I didn't realize there are literally more bridges in Pittsburgh than any other city in the world," Biden said at the collapsed bridge.
Biden promised the crowd that the bridge infrastructure of the city would be addressed, along with all 43,000 bridges in the U.S.
"I knew there were a lot of bridges – I had no idea of that," Biden said of the nationwide total. "And we’re gonna fix them all. It’s not a joke. This is going to be a gigantic change. There’s 43,000 nationwide, and we’re sending them money."
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The United States Army Reserve was deployed to ensure there were no victims under the bridge after the collapse. Pittsburgh Fire Chief Darryl Jones said a gas leak caused by the collapse was "under control," adding that families told to evacuate during the leak have returned home, their gas service restored.