Bill Announced to Fund Baltimore Bridge Reconstruction

April 12, 2024
The Baltimore BRIDGE Relief Act will have the federal government cover the entire cost of the new bridge

On Thursday, members of Congress from Maryland announced legislation that would fund the reconstruction and repair of the Francis Scott Key Bridge that collapsed last month when a container ship – the Dali – hit one of the bridge’s main supports.

The bill, named the Baltimore BRIDGE Relief Act, would have the federal government fund the total cost of replacing the new bridge.

Maryland Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, Rep. Kweisi Mfume, and other members of the state’s congressional delegation introduced the bill.

"The federal government is an essential partner in this gargantuan task of reopening the Port of Baltimore shipping channel and replacing the bridge with one built for modern-day commerce and travel needs," Cardin said in a statement.

In an interview with CBS News, Cardin said the bill “makes it very clear” that the federal government will cover 100% of the cost for the new bridge. He said that the federal government usually covers 90%, "but in catastrophic events we've changed it in the past for 100%."

President Biden said that the federal government should pay for the entire cost of the bridge’s reconstruction, and that he expects Congress to support the effort.

"This is a national issue. I believe we have strong bipartisan support for the traditional 100% reimbursements," Cardin said. "In regards to replenishing funds, we've been able to do that on a bipartisan basis because every community in the nation is impacted by these funds that are in the Department of Transportation to deal with emergency situations."

Rep. Andy Harris, said at a news conference this week that "tragedy knows no partisanship" and committed to working to help the legislation through both chambers of Congress.

"This wasn't a Republican tragedy, it wasn't a Democrat tragedy and the solution won't be a partisan solution — it'll be a bipartisan solution," Harris said.


Source: CBS News

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