President Joe Biden speaks about manufacturing, infrastructure and jobs at Carnegie Mellon University at Mill 19 on Friday. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 28 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden on Friday said it's "simply unacceptable" that the nation's infrastructure has gotten to such a state of disrepair that a bridge collapsed earlier in the day in Pittsburgh.
He made the remarks during a visit to the City of Bridges that happened to coincide with the collapse of one that injured 10 people.
Biden praised passage of the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law earlier this month, which designates some $1.6 billion to repair bridges in Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh has more bridges than any other city in the world -- nearly 450.
He said it's time to put that money to use.
"We've got to get on with it. We've got to move," Biden said during remarks at the Mill 19 building, which houses staff from Carnegie Mellon University. "We don't need headlines saying that someone was killed when the next bridge collapses."
Mill 19 is a research and development center that targets the use of robotics and advanced manufacturing. It houses the Manufacturing Futures Institute and Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing.
Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., who joined Biden during his trip, has said such fields are important to the local Pittsburgh economy.
Biden said Congress was working on legislation to invest in such research and development and boost "good-paying" jobs in manufacturing.
"We know what happens when we stop investing in the future in a place like Pittsburgh," he said.
Before touring Mill 19, Biden visited the site of the collapsed bridge. The Fern Hollow Bridge on Forbes Avenue spanned Frick Park in Pittsburgh's Point Breeze neighborhood.
He offered praise for first responders, who used ropes to rappel under the bridge to make sure no one was trapped.
"These guys deserve an incredible amount of credit going down here," he told reporters and local law enforcement.
Biden commented on the number of bridges in the city, saying, "we're ... going to fix them all."