Biden Pushes For Federal Gov To ‘Pay For Entire Cost’ Of Rebuilding Baltimore Bridge, But Says It Will ‘Take Some Time’ | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Zach Jewell.

    President Joe Biden promised on Tuesday that the federal government would pay the entire cost to rebuild the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore after the structure collapsed early Tuesday morning when a container ship struck one of its support beams.

    Biden spoke during a press conference at the White House following the collapse of the 1.6-mile-long bridge and said he would push for Congress to approve the funding to rebuild the bridge, but warned that it will "take some time" before traffic once again flows as normal. The bridge is part of Interstate 695, also known as the Baltimore Beltway, and is a major crossing of the Patapsco River used by roughly 30,000 vehicles each day.

    "It is my intention that the federal government will pay for the entire cost of reconstructing that bridge, and I expect Congress to support my effort," Biden said. "This is going to take some time, and the people of Baltimore can count on us though to stick with them at every step of the way until the port is reopened and the bridge is rebuilt."

    The president added that he's "directed [his] team to move heaven and earth to open the port and rebuild the bridge as soon as humanly possible."

    Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld said Tuesday morning that eight people were on the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore when it collapsed. He added that two of the eight people have been accounted for as emergency responders, including dive teams, continue their search and rescue operation for at least six others. State and federal authorities have maintained that all evidence in the bridge collapse "points to an accident."

    As emergency responders and crews continue to work around the bridge wreckage, all vessel traffic arriving in or leaving the Port of Baltimore has been suspended.

    Construction on the Francis Scott Key Bridge began in 1972 and was completed five years later. The bridge was built at an estimated cost of $141 million, which is around $743 million in today's dollars, CNS Maryland reported. The port is one of America's most heavily trafficked and set a record last year with 52.3 million tons of foreign cargo and 11.7 million tons of general cargo coming into the port. No other port in the U.S. handles as many car and light truck shipments as Baltimore.

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    The bridge collapse marks yet another transportation disaster the Biden administration must respond to. Last year, a Norfolk Southern train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, resulting in a controlled burn of toxic chemicals that were released into the air and affected local residents.

    Biden was slammed for waiting a year before he visited East Palestine and was met with disappointed East Palestine residents when he made the trip to the small town last month. When asked if he would visit Baltimore following the bridge collapse, Biden said he plans to "as quickly I can."
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