WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden was set to Baltimore on Friday to survey the site of a collapsed bridge and meet families of the six construction workers who died, amid growing tensions in Congress over using federal dollars to rebuild the bridge.

A cargo ship crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge on March 26, sending it collapsing into the harbor. Work to clear the wreckage and restore traffic through the Mid-Atlantic state’s shipping channel is ongoing.

Biden’s visit, which will include an aerial tour, comes as state and federal officials have raised alarms over the potential economic hardships that the port’s closure could have on the regional economy with thousands of port workers already idled.

The Port of Baltimore ranks first in the United States for the volume it handles of autos and light trucks and farm and construction machinery, according to the state of Maryland. Most of that traffic has been suspended since the accident, though some terminal operations outside the affected area have resumed.

Maryland governor Wes Moore, who will accompany the President on his tour, in television interviews ahead of the visit said cleaning up and rebuilding the bridge is critical for commerce nationwide.

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