President Joe Biden Friday visited the site of a major Pittsburgh bridge that collapsed just hours before he was scheduled to visit the city to highlight his infrastructure spending plan.

Looking at the 450-foot collapsed span, Biden pledged the White House would “fix them all,” referring to thousands of bridges needing investment nationally. “We’re sending the money.”

Later, at his regularly scheduled speech at Carnegie Mellon, Biden noted that there are another 3,353 bridges in the state that need work.

“Across the country, there are 45,000 bridges in poor condition; that’s simply unacceptable,” he said.

The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act enacted in November provides a total of $40 billion for bridges over the next five years, including $27.5 billion in the Bridge Formula Program.

“We’re giving state and local leaders historic funding,” Biden said.

Pennsylvania will get $327 million in FY22 from the IIJA just for bridge repairs, he said. “We’re going to rebuild that bridge along with thousands of other bridges in Pennsylvania and across the country. That’s part of how we’re going to build a better America.”

Two weeks ago, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visited Philadelphia to announce the first tranche of the IIJA’s bridge funding. The money includes $1.6 billion for Pennsylvania’s bridges. The press conference was held next to the Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge, which has been closed for repairs due to deterioration of its deck and steel frame.

The Fern Hollow Bridge, which is owned by Pittsburgh, was 50 years old. That’s about the service life span of a bridge, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The span buckled early Friday morning while several vehicles, including a Port Authority bus, were traveling across it. No one was seriously injured.

The steel-frame bridge was last inspected in September 2021, Mayor Ed Gainey said during a press conference Friday morning. The bridge has been listed in “poor condition” in 2017 by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, which put the cost of repair at $1.5 million. The deck condition and superstructure condition were both rated poor and the substructure condition was rated satisfactory.

U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, whose district includes Pittsburgh, tweeted Friday he’d been in touch with the White House, the city and Allegheny County to figure out how to rebuild the span, which he said would “disrupt transportation in PGH for months at least.”

PennDOT says that 175 of 1,580 Allegheny County bridges are in poor condition, including 30 in Pittsburgh. Of those, 27 are owned by the city and the remaining three by the state.

Statewide, more than 15%, or 3,353, of Pennsylvania’s bridges are considered in poor condition, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. That’s second only to Iowa, with 19%.

Currently 42% of all bridges in the U.S. are at least 50 years old and 7.5% of the nation’s bridges are considered structurally deficient, or in poor condition, the ASCE said in its 2021 infrastructure report card.

“Most of the country’s bridges were designed for a service life of approximately 50 years, so as time passes, an ever-increasing number of bridges will need major rehabilitation or replacement,” the ASCE said in the report. It estimated that bridge spending needs to increase 58% to $22.7 billion annually to improve the national conditions.

Pittsburgh’s FY22 $158 million capital plan includes $7.25 million for bridge funding, but the Fern Hollow span was not included in the plan.

Pittsburgh was in the state’s financially distressed municipalities Act 47 program from 2003 to 2018, and one of its top recovery plan goals was to direct more funding to the capital budget, with the priority to invest more in roads, bridges, and other core infrastructure.