‘We can get s**t done’ — I-95 temporary roadway reopens in Philly
🔴 Crew worked 24/7 to fill in dirt and pave it over to create the replacement road
🔴 It took 10 days to complete the road
🔴 Work begins next on replacement overpasses
The first firefighters on the scene of a burning tanker truck that led to the collapse of an overpass on Interstate 95 took the ceremonial first ride on the replacement road Friday morning.
The northbound overpass over Cottman Avenue collapsed June 11 and weakened the southbound side, sending the 160,000 vehicles that use the road daily scrambling for alternative routes. A temporary roadway that took 10 days to complete opened Friday.
The road reopens at noon to the public.
"This was a moment of civic pride in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. We all came together and we proved we could do big things again," Gov. Josh Shapiro said during a media briefing. "We showed that when we work together we can get s**t done here in Pennsylvania."
The governor said a lot of people, from the Biden Administration to more than 200 union workers came together to cut red tape and work 24/7 to complete the job.
New roadway is safe, state says
Pennsylvania Secretary of Transportation Mike Carroll said the three lanes are 11 feet wide each with a speed limit of 45 mph. He asked drivers to be careful as they use the roadway. He assured the public the roadway is safe.
"All the high standards that exist for our structures across the state are employed with this facility," Carroll said. "This roadway is being opened because it's safely completed and its ready for traffic. And I don't think the people of Philadelphia want to wait one more minute to put a vehicle across 95."
President Biden also reacted to the update
"I grew up in Claymont, Delaware, not far from the damaged stretch of I-95. I know how important it is to people’s quality of life, the local economy, and the 150,000 vehicles that travel on it every day. That’s why I’m so proud of the hard-working men and women on site who put their heads down, stayed at it, and got I-95 reopened in record time," President Joe Biden said in a statement.
Work will now begin on rebuilding the overpasses in both directions. No definitive timetable has been announced for their completion.