Biden’s Infrastructure Bill Would Not Have Fixed Pittsburgh Bridge That Collapsed

During his trip to Pennsylvania on Friday, President Joe Biden vowed to fix “all” the bridges in the United States.

However, the Pittsburgh bridge that collapsed just before the president’s visit — and provided him with an infrastructure talking point — was not on the list to receive federal funding.

According to Fox Business, the city’s 2021 Transportation Improvement program created a list of infrastructure projects that would receive federal funding. The collapsed Forbes Avenue bridge over Fern Hollow Creek in Frick Park did not make the cut.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation rates bridges on a scale from 0-9, with 9 denoting excellent condition, NBC News reported.

The Forbes Avenue bridge received a score of 4 for both its deck and superstructure, while the substructure was given a 6. Overall, the bridge was given a rating of 4, according to NBC News.

City officials did not address why the bridge was not on the list for federal funding despite its poor score. It was originally built in 1970, making it over 50 years old.

The National Transportation Safety Board sent a team of investigators to the scene of the collapse. The board said in a tweet that the team included NTSB Chairwoman Jennifer Homendy.

Members of the NTSB go-team examine collapsed Forbes Avenue bridge Saturday in Pittsburgh. pic.twitter.com/Slo2KPz2gE

— NTSB_Newsroom (@NTSB_Newsroom) January 29, 2022

NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy at scene of Friday’s bridge collapse in Pittsburgh. pic.twitter.com/tw3rtgsxXW

— NTSB_Newsroom (@NTSB_Newsroom) January 28, 2022

Biden already had a trip to Pennsylvania planned on Friday to tout his newly passed infrastructure law, and the bridge collapsed just hours before he was scheduled to arrive.

The president amended his schedule to include a visit to the scene of the collapse, and he attempted to use the tragedy as a rallying cry for the new law, according to Fox Business.

“I’ve been coming to Pittsburgh a long time — and as a former Pennsylvanian. But I didn’t realize there are literally more bridges in Pittsburgh than any other city in the world,” Biden said. “Did you know? More than in Venice.

“I mean, I knew there were a lot of bridges — I had no idea of that. And we’re gonna fix them all.

“It’s not a joke. This is going to be a gigantic change. There’s 43,000 nationwide, and we’re sending them money.”

However, while Biden is planning to spend an arm and a leg with the new infrastructure law, it will not allocate money to every bridge in the United States.

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The state of Pennsylvania specifically is set to receive more than $327 million in federal funding for bridge repair under the new law. However, only $49 million of that will go to “off-system” bridges such as the Forbes Avenue bridge, NBC News reported.

Furthermore, that money will only go to bridges that made the city’s 2021 Transportation Improvement list, and the Forbes Avenue bridge was not included.

The infrastructure law will not fix “all” of the bridges in the country — not even the one Biden was visiting when he made this claim.