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Pittsburgh Bridge collapsed hours before Biden’s infrastructure visit

A half-century bridge collapsed in Pittsburgh on Friday, hours ago President Joe Biden’s visit, highlighting the perilous state of much of America’s transportation infrastructure – which will help get a trillion dollars in the coming years.

Like nearly 44,000 other spans across the country, the Fern Hollow Bridge in Pittsburgh is in poor condition, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s 2021 national inventory.

Authorities said 10 people suffered minor injuries when the snow-covered span fell into a ravine at around 6:00 a.m. (11:00 GMT). Several houses nearby were temporarily evacuated after a large wave nature Air Leakage caused by the collapse, has been controlled.

Built in 1970, the four-lane bridge carries an average of 14,500 vehicles a day along Forbes Avenue, one of the city’s lifeline, according to Department of Transportation figures.

It is one of 31 bridges in the city that are rated in poor condition.

“We’re going to fix it all,” Biden said during a visit to the collapse site.

Pittsburgh City Council member Corey O’Connor said the damage could be even worse. “If it was rush hour, we would see a few hundred cars in that valley,” he told CNN.

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, a “poor” rating doesn’t necessarily mean bridges are at risk of collapsing, but it does mean they should be inspected regularly. The city’s fire chief told reporters last September that the collapsed bridge had been inspected.

Biden’s $first The trillion infrastructure spending package, the largest investment in decades, has provided billions of dollars to upgrade bridges, roads and transportation.


The Department of Transportation announced earlier this month that it has distributed $5.3 billion to states to make bridges. fixa sharp increase compared to previous years.

Pennsylvania has the third largest market share, totaling $327 million. The state is a political battleground and played a key role in Biden’s 2020 presidential victory. All 10 state Democratic lawmakers in the US Senate and House of Representatives voted for the infrastructure package, and 9 out of 10 Pennsylvania Republicans voted against it.

Money will help.

According to national statistics, about 11% of the Northeast state’s 30,000 bridges are in poor condition, nearly double the national average. These bridges handle 5% of the daily traffic in Pennsylvania.

The state’s bridges received a D-plus rating from the civil engineering society in a 2018 report. Roads and sewer, water, and transit systems also received low scores.

The society says the state has made a lot of progress since passing a fuel tax increase in 2013 to fund repairs. The group praised Pennsylvania’s bridge testing program, which it said exceeded federal standards.

Pittsburgh, a hilly city of about 300,000 people located at the confluence of three major rivers, has 732 bridges within its city limits, which Biden says is more than any other city in the world. About 4% of them are in bad condition.

City officials have urged the Department of Transportation to make it easier to reduce speed limits and improve pedestrian safety.

Karina Ricks, the city’s former transportation director, took a senior job last year at the Federal Transportation Administration.

(Edited by Jonathan Oatis)

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