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July 19, 2023

I-95 lanes in South Philly to close nightly for repair work due to fallen metal plate

Southbound motorists should expect delays when traveling on the highway between 7:30 p.m. and 5 a.m. this week

Transportation I-95
I-95 overpass closures Source/Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

For the next several days, from 7:30 p.m. to 5 a.m., southbound lanes on I-95 in South Philly will be closed for PennDOT contractors to repair a metal cover plate that came loose.

A metal cover plate fell from from the I-95 overpass in South Philadelphia on Wednesday morning, allowing concrete debris to fall onto Front Street and prompting lane closures as workers completed a temporary fix. 

Now, nightly lane closures will be in effect from 7:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. this week while workers conduct permanent repairs to the overpass, PennDOT spokesperson Brad Rudolph said. The roadway is considered safe for motorists, but the falling debris poses dangers for people beneath the overpass at Front Street and Tasker Avenue.  

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"This is not typical," Rudolph wrote in an email. "It does pose a serious hazard to motorists when travel lanes below are affected. This is why the lanes were closed as soon as possible to allow the repair work to begin." 

Two southbound lanes were closed through Wednesday afternoon while workers patched the gap where the plate fell off. Both had reopened by 3 p.m. FOX29 reported. Closures will be necessary overnight for the rest of the week, but all lanes will be open to traffic when repairs are not being conducted. 

Last month, a portion of I-95 in Northeast Philadelphia collapsed after a tanker truck caught fire underneath the highway overpass near the Cottman Avenue exit. The fire melted the steel support beams, causing the northbound side of the overpass to collapse. Damages on the southbound side required it to be demolished. 

For nearly two weeks, construction crews worked around the clock to build a temporary structure that now allows I-95 to remain open as a permanent structure is built.