PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — United States Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg was in Pittsburgh Thursday, touring our bridges as part of the Biden administration’s work to gain support for the American Jobs Plan.
The $2 trillion plan is aimed at putting people back to work by rebuilding the country’s infrastructure.READ MORE: President Joe Biden Visits Pittsburgh Area To Unveil American Jobs Plan To Upgrade America's Infrastructure
Before speaking from Mt. Washington a little after 12:30 p.m., Buttigieg got a closer look at a few of the area’s bridges while on a boat tour of the Allegheny and Ohio Rivers.
He looked at the McKees Rocks and West End Bridges, among others.
“Beautiful structures, but you could see nets hanging just to capture pieces of concrete that could fall onto the sidewalk,” Buttigieg said. “Pittsburgh has a total of 446 bridges, many of which are in a state of disrepair, and the same is true across this entire country.”
Pennsylvania ranks second among all states for the most bridges in need of repair.
“I think Pittsburgh is a great example of how the past, the present and the future all fit together. There are these amazing assets — the bridges, the locks, the dams — but so many of them date back to the New Deal era or even earlier. So we need to be investing in keeping them in shape and preparing from the future,” Buttigieg said.READ MORE: President Joe Biden Mentions Pittsburgh In First Address To Joint Session Of Congress
Another area of infrastructure concern for the area is the 70-year-old Emsworth Lock and Dam. Buttigieg also addressed that in his speech. Buttigieg said if any one of them — which he says are past their originally intended life span — were to fail, the whole system would go down.
Biden’s proposed spending plan includes $180 billion for research and development, which could benefit local universities; $115 billion for roads and bridges; $111 billion for water infrastructures like sewers and dams; $100 billion to upgrade the electrical power grid; $100 billion for high-speed broadband service in all regions; $85 billion for public transit; and $42 billion for ports and airports.
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Local officials welcome @USDOT @SecretaryPete to Pittsburgh, including @SenatorCasey @RepConorLamb @ACE_Fitzgerald @billpeduto. I'm sitting down with Buttigieg shortly. More tonight on @KDKA . pic.twitter.com/2QCFXO1hpH
— Jon Delano KDKA (@JonDelano) May 6, 2021
Buttigieg was joined during his visit by Sen. Bob Casey, Rep. Conor Lamb, Rep. Mike Doyle, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and representatives with PennDOT.