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HomeGeneralMaryland Governor Urges Congress to Pass Funding for Baltimore Bridge Rebuild

Maryland Governor Urges Congress to Pass Funding for Baltimore Bridge Rebuild

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A view of the Dali cargo vessel which crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge causing it to collapse in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Source: Pinterest

In the aftermath of the tragic collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore’s harbor, efforts are underway to address the devastation and restore the region’s vital port economy.

Governor Wes Moore of Maryland has called for bipartisan collaboration to secure the federal funding needed to rebuild the bridge and revitalize the Port of Baltimore.

The collapse occurred early on Tuesday morning when a container ship, nearly the size of the Eiffel Tower, lost power and collided with a support pylon, resulting in the tragic loss of six lives.

The impact caused significant steel debris to crash into the Patapsco River, obstructing the shipping channel and halting operations at the Port of Baltimore, the largest “roll-on, roll-off” vehicle import and export hub in the United States.

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In response to the crisis, the Biden administration swiftly released an initial emergency aid package of $60 million on Thursday to assist in debris cleanup and port restoration efforts.

However, according to federal officials, the final cost of rebuilding the bridge is estimated to exceed $2 billion. This underscores the urgent need for bipartisan approval of funding legislation in Congress.

Governor Moore emphasized the importance of swift action, urging Republicans and Democrats to set aside partisan differences for the greater good of the national economy. He stressed that the Port of Baltimore plays a crucial role in driving economic growth beyond the city limits, impacting the entire country.

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“The reason that we need people to move in a bipartisan basis … is not because we need you to do Maryland a favor,” Moore told CNN. “We need to make sure that we’re actually moving quickly to get the American economy going again, because the Port of Baltimore is instrumental in our larger economic growth.”

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg echoed this sentiment, expressing optimism that Congress would prioritize the necessary funds for cleanup and reconstruction. Buttigieg highlighted the bipartisan support demonstrated in the past, such as the passage of President Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure package in 2021.

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“If there’s anything left in this country that is more bipartisan than infrastructure, it should be emergency response. This is both, and I hope that Congress will be willing if and when we turn to them,” Buttigieg told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

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As cleanup efforts commenced over the weekend, with a massive crane beginning to dismantle portions of the collapsed bridge, officials acknowledged the challenges ahead.

Hazardous weather conditions and the submerged wreckage have hindered search and recovery operations, making it difficult to locate the remaining bodies of the deceased workers.

Governor Moore refrained from providing a specific timeline for the reopening of the port and the reconstruction of the bridge, acknowledging the complexity of the task at hand. However, he emphasized the state’s commitment to ensuring a thorough and efficient recovery process.

ALSO READ: Authorities Confirm Father of Three, Entrepreneur As Part of Six Victims of the Baltimore Bridge Collapse

In the coming days, President Biden is expected to visit the bridge collapse site, underscoring the significance of the tragedy and the nation’s collective resolve to overcome it. As Maryland and the broader community mourn the lives lost and work towards rebuilding, bipartisan cooperation remains essential in navigating the path forward.

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