HomeNewsI-95 collapse anniversary hailed as triumph

I-95 collapse anniversary hailed as triumph

Less than a year later, a potential infrastructure disaster for the city of Philadelphia has become nothing less than a triumph.

On June 11, 2023, a fatal tanker truck fire under the road surface of Interstate 95 at the Cottman Avenue exit caused a collapse of the elevated section of highway, stopping both directions of the major Philadelphia thoroughfare.

In a scant 12 days, six lanes of traffic were restored after an unprecedented effort from city, state and federal agencies. On May 24, four lanes in each direction were completed and reopened with a completely rebuilt section of road.  

“Today serves as another example to all that Pennsylvania can do big things,” PennDOT Secretary Michael B. Carroll said. “Thanks to the dedication of the workers and incredible coordination between the Shapiro administration, our federal partners and the City of Philadelphia, traffic flowed freely on I-95 throughout construction and we were able to restore the roadway to full capacity less than a year after the tragic fire and collapse.”

Carroll represented the state Department of Transportation and was joined by Federal Highway Administration head Shailen Bhatt and Deputy Managing Director Michael A. Carroll, among others, as the joint effort was celebrated.

“Thanks to the tireless work of local, state and federal partners, and union crews working around the clock, we are thrilled to celebrate the complete reopening of I-95 in Philadelphia,” Bhatt said. “The Biden-Harris administration committed to do everything possible to help Pennsylvania reopen this highway as quickly as possible. Today’s opening is a testament to the strength of our partnerships and resolve to keep one of our nation’s busiest highways open for the traveling public.”

Significantly, the unprecedented effort was able to restore traffic flow on a temporary bases within two weeks and, in less than a year’s time, a permanent fix was in place before the Memorial Day weekend.

“As we officially reopen I-95 today, the Parker administration is proud that the partnership displayed between PennDOT, the Biden administration, as well as my own city departments, not only weathered the calamity of the I-95 collapse, but we have established a model for the coordination of infrastructure projects that yields the results all Philadelphians expect and deserve,” Director Carroll said. “Mayor Parker has made it clear that intergovernmental cooperation is a top priority since it maximizes resources from all levels of government and residents benefit from those collaborations.”

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