PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A collapsed section of Interstate 95 Pennsylvania’s governor said Saturday that it will reopen within two weeks in Philadelphia, after joining President Joe Biden on a helicopter tour of the critical section of highway. Closed East Coast Transportation From last weekend.
“We’re doing it here in Philly,” Governor Josh Shapiro said after a flyover at Philadelphia International Airport that included members of Congress and the city’s mayor.
Biden outlined a substantial initial federal commitment and long-term support for a permanent solution to the major roadway. “I know how important this highway is” to Philadelphia and the Northeast Corridor, he said. “Every day, 150,000 vehicles, including 14,000 trucks, travel on it. … It’s important to our economy and important to our quality of life.”
Shapiro offered a timeline that would be welcome news to commuters and long-haul truckers, saying with Biden at his side: “I can say with confidence that I-95 will be reopened within the next two weeks. We’re going to get traffic back through the extraordinary work that’s been going on here.
“People here in Philly have a real renewed sense of civic pride through this program,” he said, adding that “something special is happening in our community.”
A stretch of the East Coast’s main north-south highway collapsed early Sunday morning after a tractor-trailer carrying gasoline collapsed. Overturned on an off-ramp and caught fire. State traffic officials said the driver attempted to take a curve and lost control.
“I’ve directed my team … to move heaven and earth to do this as quickly as humanly possible,” Biden said. “As far as I am concerned, there is no important project in the country right now,” he said, informing the governor. The president described it as an “all-hands” plan to address the “crisis.”
“We’re with you. We’re going to be with you until it’s rebuilt, until it’s all over,” he told the conference.
Pennsylvania’s plan for the job involves trucking in 2,000 tons of lightweight glass blocks for rapid reconstruction, with crews working around the clock until the interstate opens to traffic. Instead of rebuilding the overpass right away, Shapiro said, they will use recycled glass to fill the collapsed area to avoid supply chain delays for other materials.
After that, a replacement bridge will be built next to it to divert traffic while crews excavate fill to restore the exit, officials said.
Biden said the design was “incredibly innovative to get this job done in record time.”
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visited the area TuesdayHe promised that the central government would provide the necessary assistance to repair the damage, though warned that the damage could raise the price of consumer goods in the short term, as truckers now have to travel longer distances.
Joining Biden aboard the president’s Marine One helicopter were Shapiro, Sens. Bob Casey and John Fetterman, and Rep. Brendan Boyle and Mayor Jim Kenney, all Democrats. Later on Saturday, Biden was scheduled to attend a 2024 campaign event with union workers at the convention center.
To watch a live video of the construction by the state Department of Transportation, go to: https://www.penndot.pa.gov/RegionalOffices/district-6/Pages/AlertDetails.aspx