NewsKey Bridge Collapse


President Joe Biden asks Congress to fund Key Bridge rebuild before Baltimore visit

NTSB shot of Key Bridge wreckage
Posted at 7:55 AM, Apr 05, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-05 09:04:30-04

BALTIMORE — President Joe Biden will be in Baltimore Friday to meet with the families of the six construction workers who died after the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

Before meeting with grieving relatives, Biden will join Governor Wes Moore and U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to get an update on the clean-up and recovery operation.

The White House also announced officials sent a letter to Congress requesting authorization to cover the full cost of rebuilding the Key Bridge.

“While we continue to assess those costs alongside our Federal and State partners, we are asking the Congress to join us in demonstrating our commitment to aid in recovery efforts by authorizing a 100 percent Federal cost share for rebuilding the bridge,” OMB Dir. Shalanda Young said in a letter to Congressional committee leaders. “This authorization would be consistent with past catastrophic bridge collapses, including in 2007, when the Congress acted in a bipartisan manner within days of the I-35W bridge collapse in Minnesota," the letter states.

Biden previously pledged that the federal government will pay for the entire cost of rebuilding the bridge.

The White House is also highlighting commitments from major area employers to keep workers on their payroll.

“Major local employers, including UPS, Amazon, Domino Sugar, Home Depot, Mercedes-Benz, Subaru, and Floor & Decor, are committing to retain their workers,” they announced in the attached fact sheet, which they say amounts to thousands of jobs in Port of Baltimore facilities.

Additionally, the port’s collective bargaining parties will be making a lump-sum payment to over 1,200 longshore workers valued at between 1 and 4 weeks of salary. And Ports America Chesapeake has committed to provide temporary work to hundreds of longshoremen who would have otherwise gone without hours or pay with no new shipments through the port.

The Department of Labor also announced that they’ve now approved the first tranche of Dislocated Worker Grant funding to support workers impacted by the bridge collapse.