Hours before President Biden was scheduled to give a speech on infrastructure; a Pittsburgh bridge collapsed in the Frick Park area. Emergency vehicles are on the scene of the bridge collapse today, which has no significant injuries reported as of yet.
1:58 PM: President Biden is at the Pittsburgh bridge collapse. The President is still planning on speaking later this afternoon sometime. “We’re going to fix them all. No joke,” Biden said.
11:30 AM: CNN says Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman was on the scene this morning. “This collapse is just the latest in a long line of preventable, man-made disasters that prove what so many of us in Pennsylvania and around the country have been saying for years: Our infrastructure is failing our people. Our roads and bridges, which are supposed to connect us and bring us together, are increasingly putting us in danger,” Fetterman commented.
The infrastructure bill is supposed to give the state $1.6 billion to repair bridges like the Frick Park that collapsed.
10:48 AM: According to AP News, people on the scene formed a “human chain
to help rescue those trapped in a bus. Rescuers repelled down nearly 150 feet to try and rescue people while the bus dangled in the air.
“There were minor injuries from the collapse but no fatalities, said authorities, who also said they were flying drones to make sure no one is under any collapsed sections.”Associated Press
A search and rescue team is still on-site looking for potential victims.
The Pittsburgh bridge collapsed earlier this morning around 6:00 AM
According to Penn Live, the Frick Park Bridge collapsed today over Fern Hollow Creek. The bridge came down today at around 6:00 AM. when local news picked up on the police scanner that something had happened. President Biden is scheduled to be in Pittsburgh later this afternoon to discuss the new infrastructure bill, which will help repair aging bridges throughout the country.
At 6:59 AM, Pittsburgh Public Safety tweeted, “There is a strong smell of natural gas in the area. Please avoid if at all possible. Public Information Officer is en route.” Pittsburgh Public Safety was live on the scene and noted that police had cut the gas line upon arrival.
Emergency crews contacted the Red Cross for victim assistance while police investigated the Pittsburgh bridge collapse. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said that the local Port Authority arrived at the PA bridge collapse and assisted a bus driver and two passengers. All three were able to escape without injuries.
The bridge collapse in Pittsburgh happened when the roads were not as busy as usual
As the sun came up, people shared photos of the snow-covered collapsed bridge on Twitter. Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman spoke to CNN to further explain the situation. He noted that the entire span of the bridge had come down. “It’s surreal; the entire span of the bridge has collapsed into the park and the walking trail below.”
Fetterman confirmed there were no fatalities at the Pittsburgh bridge collapse, but emergency crews transported the people on the bus to the hospital. He also noted that traffic was slower than usual due to inclement weather. Schools were on a two-hour delay this morning due to the weather, which meant fewer people were on the road. In the video footage and photographs of the event, multiple cars are visible in the area of the collapsed bridge. It isn’t clear whether these cars and trucks were traveling on the bridge or under it when the collapse occurred.
What does President Biden’s infrastructure bill say?
According to the White House, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act) discusses the nation’s roads, bridges, and railway systems. Focusing on the part of the infrastructure bill that deals with bridges and roads, the bill hopes to repair some 45,000 bridges in the nation that “are in poor condition.” The language also goes on to say that one in five miles of highways and roads need a major repair.
“The legislation will reauthorize surface transportation programs for five years and invest $110 billion in additional funding to repair our roads and bridges and support major, transformational projects.”The White House | Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
This would be the most significant investment in repairing the nation’s bridges since the government first constructed the highway system. The plans include rebuilding the most “economically significant bridges” in the U.S. and thousands of smaller bridges, such as the Frick Park Bridge.