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June 13, 2023

PennDOT's plan to rebuild I-95 bridge in Northeast Philly will be unveiled Wednesday

Authorities are in contact with the family of the truck driver believed to have been killed in the fiery crash, police said

Transportation I-95
PennDOT I-95 Plan Thomas P. Costello/USA TODAY NETWORK

PennDOT on Wednesday will detail its plan to reconstruct the I-95 bridge destroyed by the June 11, 2023, tanker-truck fire in Northeast Philly, officials said. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll will provide a timeline for the work ahead and share other measures being taken to minimize the impact.

PennDOT will detail its plans Wednesday to reconstruct the I-95 bridge that was destroyed by Sunday's tanker-truck fire in Northeast Philadelphia, officials said.

State and local officials met Tuesday with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, who toured the site of the highway collapse in Tacony and offered his assurance that federal funding and support will be available throughout the rebuilding process.

LATEST: Temporary road to replace destroyed I-95 bridge, eventually reopening highway while permanent structure is completed

"This tragic crash is having an outsized impact on commuters and on goods movement up and down the I-95 corridor. It's a key artery for the movement of people and goods," Buttigieg said. "And that's why it's so important to make sure that it's restored quickly. The only thing that's even more important than making sure it's restored quickly is making sure it's restored safely."

PennDOT's plan will be presented during a briefing at 10:30 a.m. on State Road, nearby the site of the truck fire and explosion. Gov. Josh Shapiro and Secretary Mike Carroll will be joined by leaders of the Philadelphia Building Trades. The repairs to the highway are expected to take months, Shapiro said Sunday. Carroll is expected provide a timeline for the work ahead and share other measures that will be taken to minimize the impact.

Officials also confirmed Tuesday that they were able to identify the truck driver killed in the crash as Nathan Moody, whose remains had been recovered from the site of the highway collapse. Moody, 53, died of blunt trauma to the head, inhalation of smoke and thermal injuries, a spokesperson from the Philadelphia health department said. 

Relatives of Nathaniel Moody, a driver for TK Transport in Pennsauken, Camden County, had told multiple news outlets they believed Moody was killed in the crash. Isaac Moody, the driver's cousin, said Nathan had a 7-year-old daughter, 6ABC reported

The truck carrying 8,500 gallons of fuel crashed early Sunday morning while navigating a curve along the Cottman Avenue off ramp. The truck fell on its side beneath the I-95 overpass, rupturing and igniting its fuel tank. Heat from the fire melted the highway's steel support beams, resulting in the collapse of the northbound half of the bridge. Demolition work began Monday on the southbound side of the highway, which sustained significant structural damage from the fire.

Buttigieg said Tuesday that the closures on I-95 already are having wide-ranging effects on commuters and commercial shipping in the region. About 8% of the 160,000 vehicles that used the damaged portion of the highway daily were trucks carrying goods, Buttigieg said.

PennDOT has established a series of detours to help direct commuters and delivery trucks through the area. Federal officials also are working with companies like Google and Waze to help optimize routes on their GPS navigation apps, Buttigieg said. The highway remains closed between Aramingo Avenue and Cottman Avenue, forcing vehicles to rely on local roads to reach their destinations or reroute back to I-95.

SEPTA officials said the Trenton, West Trenton and Fox Chase lines have each seen upticks in ridership compared to a week ago. Usage of the three Regional Rail lines was up a combined 12% on Monday compared to the week before, with higher numbers expected Tuesday as commuters and workplaces adjusted plans.