After bridge collapse, Maryland governor urges Congress to pass funding for rebuild By Reuters

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By Gabriella Borter

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As efforts are made to clean up thousands of tons of steel from a bridge that collapsed in Baltimore’s harbor, Maryland Governor Wes Moore on Sunday urged Republicans to work with Democrats to approve the funding the state needs to rebuild the bridge and find it. let the wealth of the port return to its feet.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore collapsed early Tuesday morning, killing six road workers, when a ship that was about the size of the Eiffel Tower lost power and crashed into the support beams. A long one fell into the Patapsco River, blocking the Port of Baltimore’s shipping lanes.

The Biden administration released $ 60 million in the first emergency aid on Thursday to help clean up the debris from the bridge and reopen the port, which is the largest in the US for “getting out, getting out” cars and exporting farm and infrastructure. equipment. The port has been closed since Tuesday, putting out of work about 15,000 people who depend on its daily operations.

State officials told Maryland lawmakers that the final cost of rebuilding the bridge could climb to $2 billion, Roll Call reported, citing a source familiar with the negotiations.

Democratic President Joe Biden has promised that the government will provide the money, but this will depend on the passage of legislation approving the money by the Republican-led House of Representatives and the Democratic-led Senate. A divided Congress has been repeatedly wracked by public battles over funding, with hard-line Republicans often at odds with members of their own party.

Moore, a Democrat, said Republicans must be willing to accept the money not only for the sake of Baltimore, but also for the nation’s economy.

“The reason we need permanent mobility … is not because we want you to do good for Maryland,” Moore told CNN on Sunday. “We need to make sure we move quickly to get America’s economy back on track, because the Port of Baltimore is so important to our economic growth.”

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg expressed hope on Sunday that Congress will approve the money needed to clean up and rebuild, saying that the legislative branch passed Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure package in 2021.

“If there is anything left in this country that is very different from infrastructure, it has to be emergency relief. That’s all, and I hope that Congress will be ready if we turn to them,” Buttigieg told CBS “Face the Nation.” “

Biden is expected to visit the site of the bridge collapse this week.

A large colony began cutting away parts of the collapsed bridge in preparation for its removal Saturday, in what officials said was the first step in a long and difficult cleanup process.

Damage from the water, as well as severe weather, has led to the continued search for the four remaining bodies of the construction workers who died in recent days, Moore said.

Moore and other officials refused to give a timeline for reopening the port and rebuilding the bridge.

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