Congressman Harris calls on federal, state officials to expedite Key Bridge reconstruction by reducing regulatory burdens

WASHINGTON, DC—Congressman Andy Harris (R-MD) on Wednesday called on federal and state officials to expedite the reconstruction of the Francis Scott Key Bridge by reducing the environmental and regulatory burdens that can stand in the way of rapid reconstruction efforts.

Echoing the similar pleas of Delegates Kathy Szeliga and Ryan Nawrocki, Congressman Harris referenced the I-35W bridge collapse over the Mississippi river in Minneapolis, Minnesota several years ago, which similarly collapsed, killing thirteen people and injuring 145.

The Republican governor at the time, Tim Pawlenty, and the Democratic-led US Congressional delegation worked in a bipartisan way, and within hours, the federal government pledged millions to clean up the bridge’s debris.

Within days, Congress unanimously passed a bill to rebuild the I-35 bridge – which then-President George W. Bush signed into law.

In response to the collapse of the Key Bridge, Congressman Harris is calling on both State and Federal governments to work in a similar fashion and reduce the environmental and regulatory burdens that would hinder a rapid reconstruction of Maryland’s historic bridge.

“The Francis Scott Key Bridge is one of the heaviest-trafficked bridges in Baltimore, and its tragic collapse will halt the flow of ships in and out of the Port of Baltimore and hurt the local economy,” said Congressman Harris on Wednesday. “As we first concentrate on recovering the victims, it is important that both the State and Federal governments work together to immediately reduce the environmental and regulatory burdens that would hinder the rapid reconstruction of the Key Bridge.”

Photo via the Baltimore County Police Department

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