Biden promises to rebuild Key Bridge

With the wreckage of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge behind him, President Joe Biden on Friday promised the city that the “nation has your back” in rebuilding the bridge and reopening its pivotal port.

Biden reiterated that the federal government would cover the full cost of repairs, even as conservatives in the House balk at the idea. But he added that the U.S. would pursue damages from “responsible” parties, without naming them.

“My administration is committed, absolutely committed, to ensuring that parties responsible for this tragedy pay to repair the damage and be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law will allow, but I also want to be clear: We will support Maryland and Baltimore every step of the way to help you rebuild and maintain all the business and commerce that’s here now,” he said at the foot of the downed bridge, with the wind whipping behind him.

The president’s visit comes nearly two weeks after the mammoth container ship “Dali” plowed into the structure, causing much of the nearly 9,000-foot bridge to collapse into the Patapsco River and killing six construction workers. On Friday, he got an aerial tour of the bridge site with Gov. Wes Moore, received a briefing from emergency workers and met with family members of those killed in the collapse.

Biden, who said he traces his family back to the “watermen” who worked Chesapeake Bay in the mid-1800s, said that as a senator, he frequently used the bridge to commute between Delaware and D.C.

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