September 2, 2023 – At an event on Thursday, August 31, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Mike Carroll was joined by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, and Rob Buckley, President of Buckley & Co. to commemorate the setting of the first beams for the permanent reconstruction of Interstate 95 in northeast Philadelphia. After a fire on June 11 caused the roadway to collapse, Governor Shapiro and Secretary Carroll led a coordinated state, local, and federal response to reopen the roadway safely and as quickly as possible, and efforts were ahead of schedule each step of the way to get traffic flowing on I-95 again. 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,” said Secretary Carroll. “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.”
Earlier this month, Governor Josh Shapiro visited High Steel Structures in Lancaster to highlight the work Pennsylvania-based companies are doing on the new I-95 overpass in northeast Philadelphia. 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 on I-95.
The beams on the southbound side were installed on Tuesday and the northbound installation was completed Thursday. 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,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. “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. We are grateful for the continued partnership of Governor Shapiro, Lieutenant Governor Davis, PennDOT, and all our local, state, and federal partners who have provided tremendous support to keep traffic flowing while we rebuild I-95.”
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.
To learn more about the project, visit PennDOT’s I-95 Updates page.