After bridge collapse, Maryland governor urges Congress to approve reconstruction funding

By Gabriella Borter

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As efforts are underway to clean up thousands of tons of steel debris from the collapsed bridge in Baltimore Harbor, Maryland Governor Wes Moore on Sunday urged Republicans to work with Democrats to approve the federal funding needed to rebuild the bridge and get the port economy back on its feet.

Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed early Tuesday morning, killing six highway workers, when a container ship nearly the size of the Eiffel Tower lost power and crashed into a supporting pylon. Much of the span crashed into the Patapsco River, blocking the Baltimore Harbor shipping channel.

The Biden administration on Thursday released $60 million in initial emergency aid to help clean up debris from the bridge and reopen the port, which is the largest in the United States for imports of “roll-over” vehicles. on, roll-off” and exports of agricultural and construction products. equipment. The port has been closed since Tuesday, leaving unclear the jobs of some 15,000 people who depend on its daily operations.

Federal officials told Maryland lawmakers that the final cost of rebuilding the bridge could be at least $2 billion, Roll Call reported, citing a source familiar with the discussions.

Democratic President Joe Biden promised the federal government would cover the cost, but that will depend on the passage of legislation authorizing the funds in both the Republican-led House of Representatives and the Democratic-led Senate. The divided Congress has repeatedly been riven by partisan battles over funding, with the most hardline Republicans often at odds, even with members of their own party.

Moore, a Democrat, said Republicans should be willing to approve funding not only for the sake of Baltimore City, but also for the national economy.

“The reason we need people to move on a bipartisan basis … is not because we need you to do a favor for Maryland,” Moore told CNN on Sunday. “We need to make sure we move quickly to get the…

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