Yellen Sees Insurance Payouts Helping Fund New Baltimore Bridge

March 28, 2024

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she expects insurers’ payouts to help cover some of the costs of rebuilding the Baltimore bridge that collapsed earlier this week.

“My expectation would be that, ultimately, there’ll be insurance payments in part to cover this,” Yellen said in an interview on MSNBC Wednesday. “But we don’t want to allow worrying about where the financing is coming to hold up reconstruction.”

President Joe Biden said Tuesday that the federal government ought to pay to rebuild the Francis Scott Key Bridge, a key artery near the port of Baltimore that was wrecked when a cargo ship collided with one of its piers. The cost is expected to run into the billions of dollars.

“I’m not sure what the details are” on funding, Yellen said. “We have the money from the bipartisan infrastructure law that could potentially be helpful,” she said, referring to 2021 legislation that was aimed at addressing a longstanding underinvestment in US transport and utility infrastructure.

The Treasury chief said that authorities are “trying to evaluate now what the impact may be of the bridge collapse.” She added that the administration’s supply-chain task force will be meeting Wednesday afternoon to assess the potential economic impact. That panel was established in mid-2021 to help strengthen and unsnarl supply chains.

Photo: A US Coast Guard helicopter flies over the Dali container vessel after it struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, US, on March 26.