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President Biden Will Proceed With Infrastructure-Focused Trip To Pittsburgh Following Frick Park Bridge Collapse

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- President Joe Biden's planned visit to Pittsburgh is still on following the Forbes Avenue bridge collapse in Frick Park early this morning.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a tweet, "The President will proceed with [the] trip planned for today and will stay in touch with officials on the ground about additional assistance we can provide."

Sources say it is a "possibility" that President Biden will visit the collapse site during his visit to town.

President Biden's visit to the city was announced on Monday. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was number one his agenda for the visit.

His talking points for the trip are to include "strengthening the nation's supply chains, revitalizing manufacturing and creating union jobs through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law," according to a White House press release.

The president signed the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill into law in November.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg is also monitoring the developments following the bridge collapse, he said on Twitter.

"Closely monitoring the situation at Frick Park Bridge in Pittsburgh, and grateful for the first responders on scene. Our Department is in touch with @PennDOTNews and local authorities to offer our support. @USDOT stands ready to assist."

The Fern Hollow Bridge collapsed around 7 a.m. at Forbes and Braddock Avenues.

Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey said the bridge over Hot Dog Dam Dog Park was inspected just last September.

"This Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is critically to Southwest Pennsylvania and the City of Pittsburgh," Mayor Gainey said. "We know we have bridges that we need to take care of. We're finding out now when the last inspection was and everything. But, with him coming today, to talk about this infrastructure bill, to discuss why this funding is so important, today is significant to that."

Gainey has spoken with President Biden by phone call.

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman has released this statement focusing on the Infrastructure Law.

"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.

"That's why infrastructure bills like the one President Biden signed into law last year are so important. Too often, DC politics can feel like insider baseball—and Pennsylvanians are left wondering how abstract legislation helps them. But here, the answer is clear. As a result of Biden's infrastructure bill, the state is now getting $1.6 billion to repair bridges like this one.

"Now more than ever, we need to get to work. We need to make use of the legislation President Biden ushered in, rebuild our roads and bridges, and fix our faulty infrastructure. In Pittsburgh, in Pennsylvania, and across America, we cannot afford neglect any longer. It's time to rebuild this nation."

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