Biden Gives Remarks Following Bridge Collapse

Early Tuesday morning, the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore collapsed after a container ship struck one of its support beams.

The 1.6-mile-long bridge, which is part of Interstate 695, is a major crossing of the Patapsco River used by approximately 30,000 vehicles each day. Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld confirmed that eight people were on the bridge when it collapsed, and emergency responders are currently conducting a search and rescue operation for at least six others.

During a press conference at the White House, President Joe Biden promised to push for Congress to approve funding to rebuild the bridge, stating that the federal government would cover the entire cost. However, he cautioned that it will "take some time" before traffic can resume as normal. Biden also directed his team to work quickly to reopen the port and rebuild the bridge as soon as possible. He stated his intention to visit Baltimore in the near future to show support for the city and its residents.

According to state and federal authorities, all evidence points to the bridge collapse being an accident. However, the cause of the incident is still under investigation. As emergency responders and crews continue to work around the wreckage, all vessel traffic at the Port of Baltimore has been suspended. This port is one of the busiest in the United States and set a record last year with over 60 million tons of cargo.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge was constructed in the early 1970s at an estimated cost of $141 million. Using today's inflation rates, this would equate to approximately $743 million. The collapse of this bridge marks another transportation disaster during Biden's presidency, following a train derailment in Ohio last year. The derailment sparked a controlled burn of toxic chemicals, causing concern among local residents.

Last month, Biden faced criticism for waiting a year before visiting East Palestine, Ohio, where the train derailment occurred. During his visit, he was met with disappointed residents. In response to this criticism, Biden stated his intention to visit Baltimore as soon as he is able to show support for the city and its residents. He also mentioned that he has directed his team to "move heaven and earth" to reopen the port and rebuild the bridge in a timely manner.

As the search and rescue operation continues and the investigation into the cause of the bridge collapse progresses, the people of Baltimore can count on the federal government to support them. Biden's promise to cover the entire cost of rebuilding the bridge and his plans to visit the city demonstrate his commitment to working with and for the American people.

The exact timeline for the reopening of the port and reconstruction of the bridge is still uncertain, but the government is doing everything in its power to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.

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