More News:

November 06, 2023

Newly repaired section of I-95 to reopen this week

Outer travel lanes of the new permanent bridge in Northeast Philly opens to drivers Monday night, nearly five months after a truck fire caused a portion of the roadway to collapse

Transportation I-95
i-95 repairs Provided Image/Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

Some recently completed lanes of the new permanent I-95 bridge in Northeast Philly will open to drivers this week, about five months after a tanker-truck fire caused a portion of the I-95 highway bridge to collapse.

Nearly five months after a tanker-truck fire caused a portion of the I-95 highway bridge to collapse, some newly completed lanes will reopen to drivers.

Reconstruction of the roadway is "ahead of schedule," Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Secretary Mike Carroll said during an event held near I-95 Monday. Monday night, traffic will shift from a temporary roadway onto new, permanent outer travel lanes on the I-95 bridge in Northeast Philly.

MORE: The SS United States, the ocean liner docked in South Philly, may find a new home as a Manhattan hotel

On Monday, northbound I-95 will be reduced to two lanes from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., then to one lane from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Tuesday through the Cottman Avenue interchange. On Wednesday, southbound I-95 will be reduced to two lanes from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., then to one lane from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Thursday through the Cottman Avenue interchange.

“Thanks to the dedication of the workers and continued coordination between the Shapiro Administration, our federal partners and the City of Philadelphia, traffic continues to flow freely on I-95 and we are one step closer to restoring I-95 to its full capacity," Carroll said.

Crews will move and reset temporary construction barriers and repaint lane markings prior to the lane shifts. PennDOT says motorists should allow for extra time for backups and delays.

After the traffic shifts, the temporary roadway will be removed and more work on the permanent structure will begin. The reconstruction project, including rebuilding the lower portion of the Cottman Avenue off-ramp, is expected to be finished next year. PennDOT says it plans to reuse the recycled glass material that is currently being used in the temporary roadway for future projects along I-95.

On the morning of June 11, 53-year-old truck driver Nathan Moody lost control of his fuel tanker while navigating the northbound off-ramp. The vehicle was carrying about 8,500 gallons of fuel, which caught fire when the truck fell on its side. The flames melted the support beams on the northbound side of the bridge, which then collapsed. The southbound side was demolished days later.

Through a coordinated state, local and federal response, a temporary roadway with six lanes of traffic opened 12 days after the collapse. That section of I-95 carries about 160,000 vehicles every day and is a major commercial corridor for the region and beyond. In August, crews began installing steel beams to support the new permanent roadway.

So far, the project has cost more than $20 million, including $4 million for the temporary roadway and $18 million for the permanent roadway unveiled this week. The federal government is funding the repairs.

Follow Franki & PhillyVoice on Twitter: @wordsbyfranki | @thePhillyVoice
Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice
Have a news tip? Let us know.