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Biden visits Pittsburgh bridge collapse, vows more U.S. investment

Economic IndicatorsJan 28, 2022 08:43PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks with Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer as they announce Breyer will retire at the end of the court's current term, at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 27, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque 2/2

By Andrea Shalal and Doina Chiacu

PITTSBURGH (Reuters) -President Joe Biden stopped to look at a Pittsburgh bridge that collapsed just hours before he arrived for a scheduled visit to the city on Friday, dramatically underscoring the urgency of his drive to rebuild the United States' creaky infrastructure.

Visibly moved, Biden gazed across a ravine over the buckled sections of the half-century-old Fern Hollow Bridge, flanked by Pennsylvania and local officials and emergency workers as he surveyed the damage.

"The idea that we have been so far behind on infrastructure, for so many years -- it's just mind-boggling," the president told them.

One emergency worker described the scene after the collapse as loud as a jet engine. Biden praised the work of rescuers, noting a natural gas leak that was not stopped until some 30 minutes after first responders arrived at the scene.

Rescuers rappelled at least 150 feet (46 meters) into Fern Hollow, and used ropes to pull people to safety after the snow-covered span over the ravine collapsed around 6 a.m. (1100 GMT), Pittsburgh Fire Chief Darryl Jones said.

"They helped the firefighters that were here initially on scene, also did like a daisy chain, with hands just grabbing people and pulling them up," Jones said.

Ten people suffered minor injuries, including four who were taken to the hospital, city officials said. Jones added that crews would search under the bridge for any victims.

The incident was a high-profile example of the need to rebuild the nation's aging bridges, highways and other infrastructure with money from $1 trillion spending bill https://www.reuters.com/world/us/biden-needing-boost-sign-1-trillion-infrastructure-bill-2021-11-15 that was a signature achievement of Biden's first year in office.

Images of the collapse showed the four-lane span buckled into three large sections, with several vehicles piled in the rubble of the collapsed roadway at the bottom of the ravine. The tail end of a long, red city bus appeared trapped by the rubble.

The massive gas leak caused by the collapse forced the evacuation of several families from their homes before being brought under control, Jones said.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending a team to the site.

Pennsylvania has 3,198 bridges rated https://www.reuters.com/world/us/collapsed-pittsburgh-bridge-is-one-44000-poor-condition-us-2022-01-28/#:~:text=Like%20nearly%2044%2C000%20other%20spans,of%20Transportation's%202021%20national%20inventory as being in poor condition, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The collapse came just two weeks after Pennsylvania got $327 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation for bridge repair as part of the Biden administration's new infrastructure law. Pennsylvania's share of the bridge-repair money is the third-largest state allocation, behind only California and New York.

Biden said he was astonished to learn Pittsburgh had more bridges than any city in the world. "And we're going to fix them all," he said before leaving the site.

ECONOMIC GROWTH JUMPS

Biden, whose approval ratings have fallen in recent months amid a surge in the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation, got a boost on Thursday when the Commerce Department reported the U.S. economy grew the fastest https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-economy-regained-speed-q4-2021-growth-best-since-1984-2022-01-27 in nearly four decades in 2021.

Economists say Biden-backed fiscal stimulus, including the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that pumped money into states for COVID relief and into households in the form of stimulus payments, played a big role.

In Pittsburgh, the president toured Mill 19, a former steel mill building now serving as a research and development hub, and said he was taking stock of what he had accomplished so far.

"Making it in America is what built this city, the steel city," he said. Pittsburgh understands the consequences of what happens "when we ignore the backbone and fail to invest in ourselves."

The Democratic president was returning to the site of his first major campaign event in 2019 and his first stop after he was inaugurated. The state is a crucial battleground for Democrats to retain control of the Senate in the 2022 midterms.

He touted the creation of 6.4 million jobs and 367,000 manufacturing jobs since he took office a year ago, and the passage of the infrastructure bill -- a rare bipartisan victory in a deeply divided Congress.

"It takes a federal government that doesn't just give lip service" to buying American, he said. "Now we're beginning to see the results."

In recent days, General Motors Co (NYSE:GM) has said it would invest $7 billion in Michigan to expand electric vehicle production and Intel Corp (NASDAQ:INTC) has said it would invest $100 billion to build a chip-making complex in Ohio.

Biden visits Pittsburgh bridge collapse, vows more U.S. investment
 

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Comments (19)
Steffen vdm
Steffen vdm Jan 29, 2022 1:02AM ET
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US starting to look more and more like a third world country: corrupt politicians, high inflation, crappy infrastructure, polarized society, enormous debts....
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Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Jan 29, 2022 1:02AM ET
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Co Gonz  "do you now know how money flows from staye to federal?"   --- that's funny, because most of the red states in the south and west gets more money from federal govt than they contributed.  States like New York, California, Mass actually contributes more to the fed govt than they got back, but hey, why let facts get in the way of a good rant eh?
Co Gonz
Co Gonz Jan 29, 2022 1:02AM ET
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Tre Hsi that’s funny because California and most bkue stayes have actually declared and gone bankrupt. Illinois was on the berge before they got pandemic relief. This can be googled. If you’re going to try to state things, sources because we’re not kids and do our own research.. sources are important because i know you’re lying
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Jan 29, 2022 1:02AM ET
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Co Gonz  "California and most bkue stayes have actually declared and gone bankrupt."  -- i guess you are too busy fixing your spellchecking function to google, here let me help you out, last year California had a $75B budget surplus....
Co Gonz
Co Gonz Jan 29, 2022 1:02AM ET
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Tre Hsi notice how you didn’t read.. i said before covid.. states were given federal assistance.. you don’t read enough or just don’t understand
Co Gonz
Co Gonz Jan 29, 2022 1:02AM ET
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Tre Hsi hint”before they got pandemic relief” and to look at data from 2020 and on is misleading and you’re spreading misinformation
Thomas DeVito
Thomas DeVito Jan 29, 2022 12:00AM ET
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I don't believe in coincidences like this.
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Co Gonz
Co Gonz Jan 29, 2022 12:00AM ET
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Tre Hsi you should honestly stop commenting because it’s clear you dont do enough research to understand these topics. Bush and obama passed infrastructure deals, why is there still an issue
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Jan 29, 2022 12:00AM ET
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Co Gonz  "Bush and obama passed infrastructure deals, why is there still an issue"  -- so your president orange didn't pass any infrastructure deals?  tell us, why is that?   is it because he couldn't get Mexico to pay for that??? Oh, also, you think infrastructure maintenance is just a once or twice thing instead of ongoing expenditure?  did you read that on the internet or did you learn that in Trump University?
Co Gonz
Co Gonz Jan 29, 2022 12:00AM ET
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Tre Hsi you’re awful.. typically way to avoid the question.. you’re to simple to understand they’re playing you.. my comment didn’t mention anything about trump but there you go right to him like you’re fetish
Co Gonz
Co Gonz Jan 29, 2022 12:00AM ET
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Tre Hsi you have a trump fetish bro
John Laurens
John Laurens Jan 29, 2022 12:00AM ET
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Co Gonz  oh great.. another self appointed arbiter of truth from the foil hat wearing left.. yeah!
John Brown
John Brown Jan 28, 2022 11:06PM ET
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Biden:Show me the money !Trump 2024…!
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Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Jan 28, 2022 11:06PM ET
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Co Gonz  you need proof to make accusations?  so tell us again why you think Trump won the 2020 election???
Co Gonz
Co Gonz Jan 28, 2022 11:06PM ET
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Tre Hsi yes, like rational humans courts need proof, which is why he’s been not guilty from EVERY accusation. Philadelphia kicked poll watchers out, by PA law poll watchers from both parties need to witness and those votes dont count, thats 1 state.. want me to keep going
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Jan 28, 2022 11:06PM ET
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Co Gonz  please do
Co Gonz
Co Gonz Jan 28, 2022 11:06PM ET
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Tre Hsi obviously you don’t do enough research.. post your portfolio holdings so i can rip them apart
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Jan 28, 2022 11:06PM ET
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Co Gonz  I own 51% of Wayne Enterprises and I own 49% of Truth Social......I am also the board member of the Bill Gates Nano Vaccine Corp
Dave Jones
Dave Jones Jan 28, 2022 10:30PM ET
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that there brandon is a cree ton
John Laurens
John Laurens Jan 28, 2022 10:04PM ET
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He shat himself when he saw it then realized he hadn't left the plane yet.. president loaded diaper is a complete joke.
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Co Gonz
Co Gonz Jan 28, 2022 10:04PM ET
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Tre Hsi share your portfolio positions lol i want to short everything you have
John Laurens
John Laurens Jan 28, 2022 10:04PM ET
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Tre Hsi  you should pay attention to your own country.. it has waaay worse problems..
Co Gonz
Co Gonz Jan 28, 2022 10:04PM ET
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John Laurens haha right! I bet tre hsi thought and still thinks inflation is transitory
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Jan 28, 2022 10:04PM ET
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John Laurens  so no answer to why Trump couldn't prove the frauds in 2016 election despite being the president for 4 years?  that's OK, it's the same question no Trump supporters are able to answer, so you are not the only one
Co Gonz
Co Gonz Jan 28, 2022 10:04PM ET
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Tre Hsi no so i guess durham didnt say clinton and camp was in charge of the russian hoax.. a matter that went to the FBI and beyond.. if you don’t understand that your government is extremely crooked you don’t read enough and don’t understand history
Chad RicherThanYou
Chad RicherThanYou Jan 28, 2022 9:15PM ET
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Bare Shelves Biden
Ac Tektrader
Ac Tektrader Jan 28, 2022 8:08PM ET
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then there's the Trump trolls jealous and complaining a about an invrastructure bill that trump couldn't get through Congress,. and the Democrats did.
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Co Gonz
Co Gonz Jan 28, 2022 8:08PM ET
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Tre Hsi it covers illegals, foreign aid to corrupt countries etc.. 2 out of 3 of past presidents passed the same thing, where’s the money going
John Laurens
John Laurens Jan 28, 2022 8:08PM ET
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Tre Hsi  noo "tre hsi" you're actually poking your nose into places it doesn't belong.. try going home.
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Jan 28, 2022 8:08PM ET
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Co Gonz  "it covers illegals, foreign aid to corrupt countries etc."  -- explain to us how is it illegal if that's part of the bill (it's not, but let's just say it is) passed by Congress?
Co Gonz
Co Gonz Jan 28, 2022 8:08PM ET
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Tre Hsi illegal immigrants.. what country are you from
Co Gonz
Co Gonz Jan 28, 2022 8:08PM ET
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Tre Hsi no one said it’s illegal to give foreign aid.. it’s illegal to give aid to corrupt countries and they funnel it back to Us politicians. This has been known throughout the world
Ac Tektrader
Ac Tektrader Jan 28, 2022 8:02PM ET
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got a lot ingnorant conservatives trolling today.....
John Laurens
John Laurens Jan 28, 2022 8:02PM ET
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not trolling.. we're right here in your face ready to debate any single facet of president loaded diapers accomplishments.. bring it bud!
John Hemphill
John Hemphill Jan 28, 2022 8:02PM ET
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Why is a socialist trading in a capitalist market?
Co Gonz
Co Gonz Jan 28, 2022 8:02PM ET
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I’m going to guess this guy hasn’t read the entire deal and hasn’t done enough research on it.
Alberto Vazquez
Alberto Vazquez Jan 28, 2022 6:05PM ET
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Brandon bridges!!!
Alberto Vazquez
Alberto Vazquez Jan 28, 2022 6:04PM ET
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lol. really? how convenience.
 
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