Biden, in Pittsburgh hours after a bridge collapse, says funds from the infrastructure law can be used for upgrades

President Biden pushed for money from the infrastructure law to be used to improve the nation’s bridges. He delivered the remarks on a previously arranged trip to Carnegie Mellon University, just hours after the nearby Fern Hollow Bridge collapsed Friday morning.

Video Transcript

JOE BIDEN: A bridge more than 50 years old-- I think it was 150 years, it says 50 years old but I thought it was older-- collapsed right here in Pittsburgh. It had been rated in poor condition for the past 10 years. What you all know, if you don't, you should know, there are another 3,300 bridges here in Pennsylvania, some of which are just as old and just as decrepit condition as that bridge was, including here in Pittsburgh, the city of bridges. I've been coming to Pittsburgh a long time. I'm a Pennsylvania kid. I was born and raised the first part of my life in Pennsylvania, and I've been to Pittsburgh a lot. But all these years, I never knew-- I never knew Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, had more bridges than any other city in the world. Yo.

[APPLAUSE]

But across the country there are 45,000 bridges in poor condition. It's just simply unacceptable. That's why your governor and your members of Congress, your mayor have been saying for years, we have to do something about this. I've talked about it every time I've come to Pittsburgh. And we finally got it done-- a bipartisan infrastructure law, including the largest investment in our nation's bridges since Eisenhower put together the interstate highway system.

And I might add-- [APPLAUSE] --this is the first time in the country's history that we dedicated national program to repair and upgrade bridges. And it's about time. The governor can tell you, we're giving state and local leaders historic funding to make national projects real. Here in Pennsylvania, that means at least $1.6 billion for bridges alone. $327 million in 2022 alone just to repair bridges. We've got to get on with it. We've got to move.

The next time, we don't need headlines saying that someone was killed when the next bridge collapsed. We're also providing billions more for roads and so much more. We saw today when the bridge is in disrepair, it literally can threaten lives. As soon as we heard about the bridge we were immediately in contact with the mayor-- Mr. Mayor, you're doing a hell of a job-- and the governor and other officials on the ground. And we're going to rebuild that bridge along with thousands of other bridges in Pennsylvania and across the country because it's in our interest, for our own safety sake, and it generates commerce in a way that we can't do now.

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