A bridge collapsed in Pittsburgh early Friday, hours before US President Joe Biden was scheduled to deliver a speech in the city announcing his $1 trillion plan to repair America’s worn infrastructure.
Pittsburgh public safety officials tweeted that three people were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries after the road bridge buckled into a snow-covered ravine.
The otherwise minor accident immediately garnered national attention, as Biden was about to land in the industrial city for a speech promoting his efforts to restart the US economy after the pandemic, including through the historic squandering of infrastructure spending.
Biden “has been briefed on the Pittsburgh bridge collapse,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki tweeted, and will “proceed with the trip planned for today and will remain in touch with officials at the scene about any additional assistance we can provide.”
Biden was scheduled to tour Mill 19 while in Pittsburgh, in the political battleground state of Pennsylvania. The former mill dates from 1943 and once produced more than a million tons of metal per year.
Today, the site is held up as a symbol of what the White House called “his vision to rebuild America’s economy for the 21st century.” Mill 19, home of Carnegie Mellon University’s Manufacturing Futures Institute (MFI), focuses on high-tech research and development.
“The President will speak about how his bipartisan infrastructure bill is already strengthening our supply chains and critical infrastructure — our roads, bridges, ports, airports and more — giving us an advantage to produce more in America and export to the world,” he said a White House official.