DeSantis Campaign Mocks Buttigieg for Needing ‘Months’ To Repair Collapsed Philly Bridge

Getty Images
June 12, 2023

Presidential candidate Ron DeSantis's campaign mocked Democrats including transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg for needing months to repair a collapsed interstate in Pennsylvania after he oversaw the repair last year of a Florida bridge in just three days.

Following the Sunday collapse of a portion of Interstate 95 in Pennsylvania, Democratic governor Josh Shapiro announced repairs could "take some number of months." The collapse occurred after a truck carrying petroleum caught fire on the highway.

"The I-95 in Philadelphia is set to take 'some number of MONTHS' to repair," the DeSantis war room tweeted on Monday. "In Florida, when the Pine Island bridge was destroyed by Hurricane Ian, it was rebuilt in three days."

The DeSantis tweet also included a picture of Buttigieg, whom Shapiro said he talked to about speeding up the funding process for repairs.

"Secretary Buttigieg has assured me that there will be absolutely no delay in getting federal funds deployed to quickly help us rebuild this critical artery," Shapiro said.

DeSantis's team referred to the collapse of the bridge connecting Pine Island to mainland Florida in September following Hurricane Ian. The 9,000 residents of Pine Island were left stranded following the devastating storm. DeSantis announced just three days later that construction of a new bridge was completed.

"Within 24 hours after I asked FDOT to get involved, we had more than 130 trucks rolling in and crews got to work," DeSantis said at the time. "We made it a priority and we didn’t just get it done—we got it done quick. I want to thank the dedicated FDOT crews for working around the clock to restore the community’s access to Pine Island."

Shapiro said he will pursue federal funding to speed up the repairs process.

"With regards to the complete rebuild of I-95 roadway, we expect it to take some number of months," Shapiro said. "We expect it to take that time and we will have that specific time set forth once the engineers and PennDOT have completed their review."

The DeSantis campaign's call-out of Buttigieg comes after the secretary has taken criticism for his failure to address several transportation crises under his leadership, including massive flight delays across the nation, his weeks-long delay in visiting East Palestine, Ohio, after the devastating train crash and chemical spill, and his failure to calm strike threats by rail unions.