Dem governor rushes to shame Republicans after bridge collapse. But his narrative immediately falls flat.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) wasted no time engaging in partisan accusations after a Pittsburgh bridge abruptly collapsed on Friday. But Wolf’s accusation immediately fell flat.

After 10 people were injured when the Forbes Avenue bridge collapsed just before rush hour early Friday morning, Wolf rushed to “shame” Republicans for the infrastructure failure.

President Joe Biden and Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey (D) inspect the collapsed bridge (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

Specifically, Wolf targeted Republican lawmakers who voted against President Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure and jobs package. The bill earmarked about $550 billion in new infrastructure spending.

“Shame on the Republican lawmakers who didn’t support the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Pennsylvanian lives are on the line. It’s long past time for the political games to come to an end,” Wolf tweeted.


Wolf, however, did not condemn the House Democrats who voted against the infrastructure bill. Those House Democratic lawmakers were: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Cori Bush (Mo.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), Jamaal Bowman (N.Y.).

But what is the problem?

The bridge — which ironically fell just hours before Biden was slated to promote the infrastructure package at an event in Pittsburgh — was “not targeted for improvements under the federal infrastructure bill,” WRC-TV reported.

In fact, government data show that Pennsylvania is set to receive more than $327 million in federal funds earmarked for bridge repair and replacement. The majority of the funds, $278 million, are slated to fund the repair or replacement of bridges on main thoroughfares, while $49 million is set to improve “off system” bridges, like the one that collapsed on Friday.

However, the Forbes Avenue bridge “is not among the highway and bridge projects targeted for federal funding in the state’s 2021 transportation improvement program,” WRC explained. You can view the state’s improvement plan here.

“City officials haven’t said why the bridge, built in 1970, wasn’t placed on the list for federal infrastructure funding,” the outlet noted.

According to the New York Times, engineers believe years of deferred maintenance on the bridge likely caused its collapse. However, the final cause will not be determined until the National Transportation Safety Board completes its investigation.



Chris Enloe