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Francis "Frank" A. Grimm, of Deptford, Vietnam War Army Veteran

Van Drew Introduces Package of Bills to Strengthen Infrastructure

Washington, DC - Today, Congressman Van Drew introduced two pieces of legislation — the Bridge Protection Act and the Francis Scott Key Bridge Disaster Taxpayer Reimbursement Resolution — aimed to strengthen America's infrastructure system and ensure that taxpayers do not bear the burden of disasters caused by private companies.

 

"The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge is a tragedy that will have a lasting impact on the future of America's infrastructure system," said Congressman Van Drew. "As we navigate the aftermath of this disaster, we must work to put safeguards in place to ensure that this can never happen again. That is why I introduced the Bridge Protection Act, which requires any large bridge over a waterway to be constructed with protective measures around its critical support points. By taking this commonsense step, we are mitigating future risks of similar disasters and enhancing the safety of America's infrastructure.

 

"While the implementation of protective measures would prevent tragedies like this from happening again in the future, it is important we also define where the line of responsibility is drawn in situations like this," Congressman Van Drew added. "While we need to rebuild this bridge as quickly as possible, we must also ensure that this company, along with others, understands that this kind of neglect will not be tolerated, and they must contribute to covering the costs. The magnitude of this financial burden should not fall entirely on hardworking Americans, but rather the private entities who were directly responsible for this accident. My resolution makes it clear that private entities have to prioritize safety in their operations and the consequences of their negligence will not be shouldered by the taxpayers."

 

 

Background:

  • On March 26th, at 1:24 am, the cargo ship Dali lost power and crashed into a critical support beam of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, resulting in the total collapse of the bridge and tragic loss of life.
  • The bridge was fitted with no protective measures, such as concrete islands or bumpers, to prevent such an accident from occurring.
  • In response to the collapse, President Biden pledged that taxpayer dollars would be the sole contributor to the $600 million reconstruction.

 

 

Click here to read the text of the Bridge Protection Act.

 

Click here to read the text of the Francis Scott Key Bridge Disaster Taxpayer Reimbursement Resolution.

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