‘It’s a miracle nobody died:’ Pennsylvania politicians discuss Pittsburgh bridge collapse – CBS Pittsburgh

By: KDKA-TV Web Team

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – As news of the bridge collapse over Frick Park continues to spread, elected officials at the local, state and federal levels are all announcing both action and condolences.

READ MORE: President Joe Biden arrives in Pittsburgh Bridge collapsed during visit to promote infrastructure bill

New Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey was on the scene, providing updates via Twitter.

“The good thing is that there are no deaths and we will pray that there are no deaths,” Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey said. “We were lucky to have a bus pass by and we had no deaths. I want to thank the City of Pittsburgh, our EMS, our firefighters, our police, our county for their support, and the state for all coming together.”

Also present with Mayor Gainey is Lieutenant General John Fetterman, who is also the Democratic nominee for the nomination to the US Senate this year,” he said. “Thank God the buses to school were delayed due to the weather so traffic was less than usual. Thank God there have been no reports of casualties so far. I wish all the injured a safe and speedy recovery. This collapse is just the latest in a series of preventable man-made disasters, proving what so many of us in Pennsylvania and around the country have been saying for years: Infrastructure Our floors are corrupting our people. Our roads and bridges, which are supposed to connect us and bring us together, are increasingly putting us in danger.”

Governor Wolf said the state is monitoring the situation and as of this morning, Pennsylvania search and rescue teams were deployed to the area.

Locally, At-Large Councilor Bethany Hallam provided a statement to KDKA.

“It is a miracle that no one died, and for that, I am so grateful,” she said. “My thoughts go to our community members who have experienced the fallout as well as the dedicated city staff who worked hard in the cold and snow to secure the situation. But a collapsed bridge is a sign of failure from all levels of government: federal, state, county, and city. It’s not a matter of means: billions of dollars flow through local governments every year, most of it just going to the wrong place.”

Both Pennsylvania senators released statements via Twitter, and Democrat Bob Casey is heading to the area from Scranton.

“It’s another reminder of the investments we need to make to keep people safe,” Sen. Casey said.

WATCH: Senator Bob Casey Talks about Infrastructure Spending Needs

“My staff contacted local emergency personnel regarding the collapse of the Forbes Avenue Bridge in Pittsburgh,” Sen. Toomey said. “We will continue to closely monitor the situation. Wishing the injured a speedy recovery.

US Representative Mike Doyle, a Democrat representing the 18th district, praised the first responders but also acknowledged the challenges ahead.

READ MORE: Frick Park Bridge Collapsed: Reported 10 people with minor injuries, 4 people taken to hospital

“It is a miracle that no one was killed in the bridge collapse this morning,” Representative Doyle said in his statement. “That could be due to the courageous and quick response of our first responders to this emergency. I would like to thank them for their prompt, effective action and wish the injured a speedy and complete recovery. The collapse of the Forbes Avenue bridge will be a major challenge for our community. It will disrupt transportation in Pittsburgh for months to come, if not longer.”

He also used it as an opportunity to emphasize the importance of the recently passed bipartisan infrastructure bill.

“This is a tragic example of why the Jobs and Infrastructure Investment Act that Congress just enacted is so essential,” he said. ”
We should continuously invest more in our infrastructure so that our bridges and other public works don’t reach this level of disrepair.”

Meanwhile, KDKA’s Bryant Reed caught up with State Senator Jay Costa at the scene.

“It’s been great for me, we’re very fortunate that no one was seriously injured, but with God’s grace this could have been a pretty bad experience,” Senator Costa said. “Surprisingly, the number of bridges here in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County in need of repair, this isn’t really one of them on the list, so we’re surprised it did.”

From here, Senator Costa said, they begin to shift their focus to the reconstruction phase.

“I’ve talked to PennDOT quite a bit, I’ve talked to the transport minister, they’re committed to support,” he said.

Thanks to the bipartisan infrastructure bill that passes in 2021, Senator Costa says federal money is on the rise that will help this bridge as well as others in the area.

“I think you will probably see in the city of Pittsburgh an effort to do additional assessments on all the bridges around the area to prevent something like this from happening again, Senator Costa added.

WATCH: Full Interview with Senator Jay Costa

At the federal level, the White House Press Secretary said that the fallout would not affect President Joe Biden’s scheduled visit to the city.

In addition, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the US Department of Transportation is monitoring the collapse.

MORE NEWS: President Biden will continue with an infrastructure-focused trip to Pittsburgh after the Frick Park Bridge collapse

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