Biden's Transportation Chief Cancels Wyoming Visit After Baltimore Bridge Falls

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg had been scheduled to visit Wyoming on Tuesday and have a private tour with Gov. Mark Gordon until a Baltimore bridge collapsed, canceling his plans.

Leo Wolfson

March 26, 20243 min read

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. (Getty Images)

Wyoming had been scheduled to receive a rare visit from a member of President Joe Biden’s cabinet on Tuesday — until a cargo ship crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, plunging it into the Patapsco River below.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg was to be in Cheyenne on Tuesday for a private tour with Gov. Mark Gordon at a Wyoming Department of Transportation facility. He also was to give a scheduled press conference at a construction site off U.S. Highway 30 on Tuesday afternoon.

The purpose of Buttigieg’s visit to Cheyenne was to highlight major investments made in Wyoming through Biden’s “Investing in America” agenda.

While in Wyoming, Buttigieg also was to meet with state and local leaders and tour infrastructure projects underway along U.S. 30 and Interstate 80 funded by federal money granted through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Bridge Blocks Wyoming Trip

All these plans were abruptly canceled Tuesday morning when a massive cargo ship lost power and struck the major bridge in Baltimore. As of the posting of this story, six construction workers who had been fixing potholes on the bridge at the time of the crash remained missing as divers and other emergency workers continued to search for them.

Buttigieg’s traveling press secretary confirmed to Cowboy State Daily that the bridge collapse was the reason Buttigieg canceled his visit. His office confirmed to The New York Times that he was traveling to the bridge site to get updates on the investigation.

Biden is widely unpopular in Wyoming as many view his energy policies as harmful to the livelihood of the state. In 2020 and 2016, former President Donald Trump won Wyoming by a larger margin than any other state.

On Tuesday, Biden vowed that the federal government would completely pay to rebuild the bridge as part of his infrastructure initiatives.

Wyoming And Buttigieg

To date, $3.7 billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law money has been announced for Wyoming with more than 214 specific projects identified, including $1.3 billion for roads, bridges, roadway safety and major projects, $365.7 million for high-speed internet, $169 million for clean and safe water across the state and improved water infrastructure, $93 million for improved public transit, $53.4 million for its airports and $15.4 million for electric vehicle chargers.

In addition, $1.7 billion has been allocated to Wyoming for clean energy, energy efficiency and power.

Some of the projects include $2.4 million to the Bighorn Divide & Wyoming Railroad Inc. for rail infrastructure and safety improvements in Wyoming, $13 million to complete final design plans for interchange reconstructions around the I-80/I-25 interchange in Cheyenne, $2 million for the Owl Creek Irrigation District, $8 million for the Jackson Hole Airport, and $500,000 to the city of Rawlins to reuse and clean up brownfield sites.

Federally funded projects like these do nothing to impress many conservatives in Wyoming who argue the state should accept as little money as possible from the federal government. They believe that by accepting these federal grants, it forces Wyoming to comply with mandates and other administration policies that it might not otherwise have to comply with.

Buttigieg is a former Indiana city mayor who ran for president in 2020, winning the Iowa caucus. He was one of the first openly gay men to launch a major presidential campaign and is the first openly gay cabinet secretary in U.S. history.

Leo Wolfson can be reached at

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Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter