Buttigieg Promises Federal Help to Repair Collapsed Section of I-95

June 14, 2023

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Tuesday promised a variety of federal aid to help repair a collapsed portion of Interstate-95—the East Coast’s main north-south highway. 

“We are here to help with funding, technical expertise, and anything else needed to rebuild quickly,” Buttigieg said following a tour of the rebuilding site.”Emergency relief funds have been made available for immediate engineering and construction and we have staff on the ground.”

He further noted that I-95 is “a key artery for people and goods.”

An elevated section of I-95 in Philadelphia collapsed on Sunday after a tanker truck carrying flammable cargo flipped and caught fire.

On Monday Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation (“PennDOT”) Secretary Mike Carroll said the truck had flipped on its side, rupturing its tank, and caught fire while “trying to navigate [a northbound] curve.” 

The driver did not survive the crash. His body has been turned over to the Philadelphia medical examiner and coroner. His family identified him on Monday as 53-year-old Nathaniel “Nate” Moody, an Army veteran and a father of three.

The collapse is snarling traffic in the Philadelphia area as the summer travel season is kicking off. A reported 110 million people use I-95, and PennDOT estimates some 160,000 vehicles daily travel along the impacted section between exists 30 and 32. Carroll called it “likely the busiest interstate” in Pennsylvania.

Of those 160,000 vehicles, 8% are trucks. “[O]bviously that is a lot of America’s GDP moving along that road every single day,” Buttigieg said.

The collapsed portion of I-95 will likely take “some number of months” to repair, according to Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro (D), adding that his office was “looking at alternatives to connect the roadway beyond detours.”

PHOTO: @GovernorShapiro

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