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Bridge collapses in Pittsburgh just before Biden speech

A bridge collapsed early Friday in Pittsburgh, hours before US President Joe Biden was due in the city to give a speech touting his $1-trillion plan to fix America's worn-out infrastructure.

US President Joe Biden and the Mayor of Pittsburgh Ed Gainey visit the scene of the Forbes Avenue Bridge collapse over Fern Hollow Creek in Frick Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, January 28, 2022. – The bridge collapse provided a symbolic backdrop for President Biden’s trip to the city to tout his $1 trillion infrastructure plan — and try rebuilding his own crumbling approval ratings. Pittsburgh’s public safety authorities tweeted that three people were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries after the road bridge buckled into a snowy ravine. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)

A bridge collapsed early Friday in Pittsburgh, hours before US President Joe Biden was due in the city to give a speech touting his $1-trillion plan to fix America’s worn-out infrastructure.

Pittsburgh’s public safety authorities tweeted that three people were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries after the road bridge buckled into a snowy ravine.

The otherwise minor accident immediately caught national attention because Biden was set to touch down in the industrial city shortly for a speech promoting his efforts to reset the post-pandemic US economy, including through the historic infrastructure spending splurge.

Biden “has been told of the bridge collapse in Pittsburgh,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki tweeted, and will “proceed with trip planned for today and will stay in touch with officials on the ground about additional assistance we can provide.”

While in Pittsburgh, located in the political battleground state of Pennsylvania, Biden was to tour Mill 19. The former mill dates back to 1943 and once churned out more than a million tons of metal a year.

Today, the site is being held up as a symbol of what the White House called “his vision to rebuild America’s economy for the 21st century.” Home to Carnegie Mellon University’s Manufacturing Futures Institute (MFI), Mill 19 focuses on high-tech research and development.

“The president will talk about how his bipartisan infrastructure law is already strengthening in our supply chains and critical infrastructure — our roads, bridges, ports, airports and more — giving us an edge in producing more in America and exporting it to the world,” a White House official said.

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