The Lead

Pa. Gov. Shapiro reopens damaged section of I-95 in Philadelphia

By: - June 23, 2023 12:56 pm

(Gov. Josh Shapiro/Twitter)

Gov. Josh Shapiro and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Secretary Mike Carroll officially reopened six lanes of traffic on Interstate 95 on Friday, just 12 days after the collapse of an overpass on the interstate.

“Over the past 12 days, the eyes of the country have been on Pennsylvania,” Shapiro said. “We showed them what our grit and determination can accomplish and we showed them good government in action. This is what we can do when government at all levels come together to get the job done.”

The new roadway opened to the public at noon on Friday. 

The temporary fix features three 11-foot lanes in each direction and will be posted at a speed limit of 45 miles per hour. There will be no shoulders on the temporary roadway. PennDOT will continue to lead the construction of a permanent bridge and will keep the public informed as it progresses.

It was originally reported that the project would take up to two months to repair. On June 17, Shapiro announced that I-95 would be opened within two weeks. On Tuesday, Shapiro declared the construction would be completed by the weekend, the second time he announced the overpass would be repaired ahead of schedule.

“Let this serve as an example to all that Pennsylvania can do big things,” Shapiro said. “When we come together, when we’re determined, we can do big things in this city and in this commonwealth and this is proof.”

There is still no update on the cost of the fix, but Shapiro said the federal government will provide whatever Pennsylvania needs to repair I-95 and will cover the cost of the project.

On June 17, President Joe Biden visited the construction site and met with local officials and union workers and claimed his administration would “move heaven and Earth” to reopen I-95 as soon as possible.

“I grew up in Claymont, Delaware, not too far from the damaged stretch of I-95,” Biden said in a Friday statement. “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.”

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Samuel O'Neal
Samuel O'Neal

Samuel O'Neal is a summer intern for the Pennsylvania Legislative Correspondents Association. He is a senior journalism major at Temple University.