Lawmakers Discuss Rebuilding After Baltimore Bridge Collapse

The priority along the Patapsco River right now remains search and recovery -- recovering the bodies of the six construction workers presumed to have died and searching to make sure no others were lost. Once that is all complete, the focus will shift to reopening the channel and fixing the bridge.

Wednesday, March 27th 2024, 5:47 pm



-

Getting the Port of Baltimore reopened and the Key Bridge rebuilt are national concerns with significant financial implications, which means Congress will inevitably play a role.

The priority along the Patapsco River right now remains search and recovery -- recovering the bodies of the six construction workers presumed to have died and searching to make sure no others were lost. Once that is all complete, the focus will shift.

"Our next priority is to make sure we get that channel opened and then we also need to fix and replace the bridge," Maryland Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) told reporters Tuesday.

Senator Cardin knows neither will be easy, but they are critically important, given the role the port plays in moving goods, especially its leading role in moving cars and trucks.

"It affects many, many jobs,” said Cardin, “it affects not only jobs here in Maryland but around the country and world."

Within hours of the Key Bridge’s collapse, President Joe Biden initiated a whole of government response and pledged federal dollars would cover the entire cost of rebuilding the 47-year-old structure.

"We're gonna work with our partners in Congress to make sure the state gets the support it needs," Biden stated Tuesday.

Such support would not be unprecedented.

When the I-35W bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis collapsed and took 13 lives in 2007, Congress unanimously approved $250 million, covering the entire cost of the bridge's replacement.

"A bridge doesn’t fall down in the middle of America, but when it does, we rebuild it," said Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) in an interview.

Replacing the Key Bridge will take longer and will be more expensive, and certainly the politics of 2024 aren't what they were in 2007, so it's not clear if Congress will provide the support President Biden has promised.

Oklahoma's Tom Cole has more influence on appropriations than any other member of the Oklahoma delegation and more than most in the entire body.

In a statement for News 9 and News on 6, he said, “As Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development…it is a priority of mine to ensure proper federal resources are deployed quickly, as well as provide answers.”

logo

Get The Daily Update!

Be among the first to get breaking news, weather, and general news updates from News on 6 delivered right to your inbox!

More Like This

March 27th, 2024

May 22nd, 2024

May 8th, 2024

April 22nd, 2024

Top Headlines

May 22nd, 2024

May 22nd, 2024

May 22nd, 2024

May 22nd, 2024