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April 1, 2024 10:44 PM IST

Biden Will Visit Baltimore Next Week After Bridge Collapse

White House | Biden | Baltimore | Bridge Collapse | Karine Jean-Pierre

President Joe Biden will travel to Baltimore on Friday following last week’s collapse of Francis Scott Key Bridge, White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said.

The steel truss bridge collapsed early on Tuesday morning, killing six road workers, when a massive container ship lost power and crashed into a support pylon. Much of the span crashed into the Patapsco River, blocking the Port of Baltimore’s shipping channel.

The accident has paralyzed shipping in and out of the Port of Baltimore.

The Biden administration released $60 million in initial emergency aid on Thursday to assist in cleaning up the bridge debris and reopening the port, which is the largest in the U.S. for “roll-on, roll-off” vehicle imports and exports of farm and construction equipment. The port has been closed since Tuesday, leaving in limbo the jobs of some 15,000 people who rely on its daily operations.

Federal officials have told Maryland lawmakers the final cost of rebuilding the bridge could soar to at least $2 billion, Roll Call reported, citing a source familiar with the discussions.

Democratic President Joe Biden has pledged that the federal government will cover the cost, but that will depend on passage of legislation authorizing the funds by both the Republican-led House of Representatives and Democratic-led Senate.

(Reuters)

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