PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll, Mayor Jim Kenney and Buckley & Company president Rob Buckley last week commemorated the setting of the first beams for the permanent reconstruction of I-95.
After a fire on June 11 caused the roadway to collapse, there was a coordinated state, local and federal response to reopen the roadway safely and as quickly as possible.
A temporary roadway with six lanes of traffic opened on June 23, only 12 days after the initial fire and collapse.
“Today serves as another example to all that Pennsylvania can do big things,” Carroll said. “This section of Interstate 95 supports 160,000 trips every day, and we worked around the clock to reopen the temporary roadway and got traffic flowing again in record time. Thanks to the dedication of the workers and continued coordination between the Shapiro administration, our federal partners and the City of Philadelphia, we are one step closer to restoring I-95 to its full capacity.”
Others on hand at the Aug. 31 news conference included City Councilman Mike Driscoll, state Sen. Jim Dillon and state Reps. Pat Gallagher and Kevin Boyle.
Lancaster’s High Steel Structures – using steel from the Cleveland Cliffs facility in Coatesville – is forging the steel beams that were set on the new bridge over Cottman Avenue last week.
Now, the team from Buckley & Company will begin to build the outer bridge decks.
“This is an exciting and important step toward the permanent reconstruction of I-95,” Kenney said. “The coordinated response to the I-95 collapse showed the country the strength and skills of our businesses and workers as well as the power of local, state and federal government to get the job done and ahead of schedule.”
Once complete, traffic will be shifted from the temporary roadway onto the outer decks, anticipated for this fall. Then, the temporary roadway will be removed, and work will begin to build the permanent structure in its place and open the Cottman Avenue off-ramp. The recycled glass aggregate currently being used in the temporary roadway will be reused in other projects along the I-95 corridor, including the I-95 Cap project at Penn’s Landing. This process is expected to be completed in spring 2024. Three lanes of traffic will be maintained in both directions throughout construction. ••