I-95 collapse in Philadelphia: This will be the temporary fix for commuters
🔴 A temporary road will be built while the new overpass is built
🔴 Crews will work 24/7 to finish the road
🔴 A timetable for its completion was not given by officials
Crews will work 24/7 to build a temporary road to accommodate highway traffic on Interstate 95 in Philadelphia but no timetable has been set for its completion.
Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro said PennDOT engineers and the Federal Highway Administration determined the "quickest and most efficient way" to reopen I-95 is to backfill an area along the highway near the collapse site and build a six-lane temporary roadway in both directions while a new overpass is built.
Philadelphia-based contractor Buckley & Co. has already been hired for both projects.
"Their members are prepared to work 24/7 to get this road reopened. They're doing this for this great city, this great commonwealth, and for our nation," Shapiro said. "That means 'round-the-clock work you've seen during the demo phase is going to continue until this road is reopened."
A live video stream will also be available to monitor the work on PennDOT's website, according to the governor, who promised regular updates.
Shapiro said the demolition of both sides of the collapsed overpass will be completed Thursday.
When will it be done?
Surrounded by members of the Philadelphia Building Trade, Shapiro would not disclose a timetable for the completion of the temporary roadway or a cost except to say the federal government is picking up the tab.
"We're working as quickly as possible. The backfill will be here on site Thursday. We are not wasting a single second. These guys behind me will be working 24/7 and you'll be able to watch," Shapiro said.
When asked by a reporter if six months to complete the temporary roadway was a reasonable estimate Shapiro repeated the job would be done as quickly as possible.
Transportation Secretary Michael Carroll said the contract is "open-ended" in terms of determining a final cost which he said is common in large emergency projects.
Locally sourced material
Shapiro said that much of the material would come from Pennsylvania. Trucks escorted by Pennsylvania State Police will bring "specially designed fill" from Delaware County to begin work Thursday. Carroll estimated 15,000 cubic feet of fill will be needed.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visited the site Tuesday and warned that the closure of the highway could have an impact on inflation because of shipping costs.
"Part of what goes into the cost of everything we pay for at the store is the cost of shipping and if a route is disrupted, or if its longer, or if trucks have to wait, that finds its way into the cost of goods," Buttigieg said.