Interstate 95 was set to reopen to traffic Friday, less than two weeks after a deadly collapse shut down traffic on the most heavily-traveled north-south highway on the East Coast.
Workers Friday were putting finishing touches on an interim six-lane roadway along the I-95 corridor while construction continues on a permanent bridge.
An elevated section of I-95 in Philadelphia collapsed on Sunday, June 11 after a tanker truck carrying flammable cargo flipped and caught fire. A day later 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, 53-year-old Nathaniel “Nate” Moody, an Army veteran and a father of three, did not survive the crash.
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 is “likely the busiest interstate” in Pennsylvania.
Of those 160,000 vehicles, 8% are trucks. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg had noted that “obviously that is a lot of America’s GDP moving along that road every single day” while pledging federal funding to help rebuild I-95.
Tons of recycled glass nuggets were used to in the rebuilding of I-95 as construction crews worked 24 hours a day.
And with rain in the Philadelphia area threatening to delay progress on Friday, a truck-mounted jet dryer, normally used to keep the Pocono Raceway’s track moisture-free, was brought in to keep the asphalt dry enough for traffic lines to be painted.
You can watch the progress of I-95 repairs in real time here.