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Shapiro Administration, Federal, Local Partners Celebrate I-95 Repair Completion Less Than a Year After Collapse

PHILADELPHIA, PA — Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Mike Carroll was joined by Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt, and other officials to commemorate the completion of the permanent repairs to I-95 in northeast Philadelphia, less than a year after a fire last June caused the roadway to collapse.

Governor Josh Shapiro and Carroll led a coordinated state, local, and federal response to reopen the roadway safely and as quickly as possible, and efforts were ahead of schedule each step of the way to get traffic flowing on I-95 again. A temporary roadway with six lanes of traffic opened on June 23, 2023, only 12 days after the initial fire and collapse.

The new bridge and ramp replace the ones that were destroyed in a June 11, 2023, tanker truck crash and fire. I-95 traffic was restored to three lanes of traffic in each direction after a temporary roadway was constructed in the center of the interstate in just 12 days. The outer sections on the northbound and southbound sides of the bridge were then rebuilt before I-95 traffic was shifted from the temporary center lanes, onto the completed, outer sections of the new bridge last November.

“[This] serves as another example to all that Pennsylvania can do big things," 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."

“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 re-opening 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. [The] 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."

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“As we officially re-open I-95, ... 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," said Philadelphia Deputy Managing Director Mike Carroll. “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."

When both lanes of the northbound ramp to Cottman Avenue are complete, it will feature enhanced traffic safety measures such as new signage and High Friction Surface Treatment (HFST). HFST is a treatment added to the top of a road surface that creates more friction on the pavement, helping keep vehicles in their lane and improving stopping distance around curves or other locations where wet pavement may contribute to crashes. HFST is a Federal Highway Administration Every Day Counts innovation that PennDOT has implemented across Pennsylvania, with data showing that the treatment decreases fatal and injury crashes where it is installed.

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