(Reuters) – Pennsylvania will spend $25.3 million in federal funds to build a new bridge in Pittsburgh in place of one that collapsed a week ago just hours ahead of scheduled visit by a U.S. President Joe Biden, officials announced on Friday.
Construction crews will work as quickly as possible to replace the Fern Hollow Bridge, which collapsed on Jan. 28 injuring 10 people and dramatically underscoring the urgency of Biden’s drive to rebuild the United States’ creaky infrastructure, said Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf.
“Pennsylvania is thankful for the steadfast commitment from the Biden Administration to rebuild this bridge and help the people of Pittsburgh move past this startling event,” Wolf said in a press release.
The snow-covered, half-century-old bridge buckled just before the morning rush hour and rescuers rappelled at least 150 feet (46 meters) into a ravine using ropes to pull people to safety.
The incident was a high-profile example of the need torebuild the nation’s aging bridges, highways and otherinfrastructure with money from $1 trillion spending bill that was a signature achievement of Biden’s first year in office.
The federal money that will pay for the new bridge comes through the bipartisan infrastructure law and will not impact any regionally funded projects, said the press release issued jointly by the city of Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; Editing by Aurora Ellis)