I-95 temporary lanes to be open for traffic this weekend, says PA governor

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Updated Jun 22, 2023
Screen capture from video at site of I-95 construction
Construction on the temporary lanes of I-95 in Philadelphia

Praising construction crews and the efforts of government at all levels, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro said the section of Interstate 95 in Philadelphia that was heavily damaged in a tanker fire June 11 will be opened for traffic this weekend,

Shapiro and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Secretary Mike Carroll Tuesday announced that I-95 will be reopened ahead of the originally projected two-week timeline.

Throughout this week, crews will begin paving three new lanes in both directions, according to a statement from Shapiro. The Pennsylvania State Police will again escort trucks carrying the pavers up I-95 to make sure they get to the site safely and as quickly as possible as crews continue working around the clock to reopen I-95 this weekend. 

“Based on the tremendous progress these crews made over the weekend and the time it takes to complete the remaining steps, I can now say that we will have I-95 back open this weekend,” said Shapiro. “We have worked around the clock to get this done, and we’ve completed each phase safely and ahead of schedule. That’s all due to the incredible coordination with our local, state, and federal partners – and thanks to the hard-working men and women of the Philadelphia Building Trades who are making this happen.”

On the morning of June 11 a tank truck loaded with a petroleum product crashed coming off the interstate at the Cottman Avenue exit. The resulting fire destroyed the northbound lanes of I-95 and heavily damaged the southbound lanes, which had to be removed. Nathan Mooney, a 53-year-old driver from New Jersey died in the crash.

Last week, Shapiro announced demolition was completed in just four days – well in advance of original predictions. Throughout the Father's Day holiday weekend, crews made significant additional progress by filling the gap with ultra-lightweight foamed glass aggregate to build up to surface level. This innovative approach was made possible with the aggregate material from a local Delaware County business, which has provided the material for use on other projects here in Pennsylvania, and in other states across the country, including in New Jersey, Maine, and Rhode Island.

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Construction will soon begin on a permanent overpass of either side of the temporary lanes.

Crews have worked around the clock to reopen the roadway safely and as quickly as possible. Shapiro said efforts by PennDOT, the Biden Administration, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the City of Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Building Trades, crews made fast progress to rebuild I-95 within two weeks of the collapse –- well ahead of experts’ original predictions.

Since the collapse of the overpass, truckers and motorists have had to follow time-consuming detours in each direction.