Biden returns to Pittsburgh to see new construction on the bridge that collapsed earlier this year

The Fern Hollow Bridge in Pittsburgh, which became a symbol of the nation’s turbulent infrastructure, collapsed in a ravine earlier this year hours before President Biden visited the city.

At the time, Mr Biden circled to survey the scene where vehicles were stranded on the side of the road and several people were injured, and pledged that help would be provided along the way. The Democratic president returned to the bridge Thursday in hopes of turning it into a symbol of success for his administration.

US President Joe Biden speaks about rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure at the Fern Hollow Bridge on October 20, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. — The bridge, carrying Forbes Avenue through Frick Park, collapsed early on January 28, 2022, hours before Biden’s due date. To visit Pittsburgh.

Mandel NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Mr Biden has become a frequent visitor to Pennsylvania, reaching the midterm in less than three weeks. John FettermanDemocrats running for the US Senate in Pennsylvania prepared for a presidential visit. Known for his casual attire, Fetterman wore a suit for the occasion.

President Joe Biden speaks upon arrival at Pittsburgh International Airport with greetings including US Democratic Senator of Pennsylvania Bob Casey (R), Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Wolf (II R) and Pennsylvania lieutenant government and Democratic senatorial candidate John Fetterman (3rd R) . October 20, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Mandel NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

A new span is being built, and the bridge could be finished by December.

“I’m coming back to walk on this sucker,” Biden said on Thursday. “Though my staff said to me, ‘You know how many times you’ve been to Pittsburgh?’ I said no. ‘Nineteen.'”

The White House Is Giving It Credit bipartisan infrastructure law Championed by Mr. Biden for a quick timeline.

“It’s being done in record time. Normally, you’d be looking at two to five years to build a bridge like this,” Mr. Biden said, adding that the cost is $25 million and “paid in full” by the federal government. ” Has been done.

The legislation is one of the president’s most notable successes from the first two years of his term, and he repeatedly emphasizes its impact. while traveling the country For roadways, airplane terminals and ports. Of the nearly $1 trillion spent, about $40 billion is devoted to bridges.

The Biden administration has sought to host a summit last week at the White House to help state and local government officials streamline their processes.

The emphasis has been on expediting the permitting, design and construction process as high inflation is driving up the cost and causing delays. The Commerce Department has at times taken the initiative to coordinate the installation of water pipes and broadband and power lines to avoid tearing down roads. And the Department of Transportation started an internal center to advise on best practices for construction.

Before boarding his helicopter on the White House South Lawn, Biden challenged a reporter who suggested some Democratic candidates had held events with him ahead of the midterm election.

“That’s not true,” Biden replied. “It’s 15. Count, baby, count.”

After the bridge, Mr. Biden plans to stop in Philadelphia for a fundraiser with Fitterman, who is trying to replenish the treasure that had been depleted in one of the most expensive races that year.

fetterman A Republican is competing with Dr. Mehmet Oz, who is also a Republican, for an open seat being vacated by Sen. Pat Tommy. If Fetterman wins, Democrats will have a better shot at maintaining control of the Senate.

Mr. Biden was born in Pennsylvania, and the state remains the center of his political identity.

This will be his 14th visit to the state on Thursday after assuming charge. The 15th visit is scheduled for next week, when he is expected to return to Philadelphia for another political event.

Asked if Democrats would hold the Senate during a stop at a Pittsburgh sandwich shop, the president replied, “I think so. It’s not over until it’s over.”

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