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Shapiro: “Traffic Will Be Flowing On I-95 This Weekend”

In a stunning development, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro announced that “traffic will be flowing on I-95 this weekend.”

In a Tuesday press conference at the construction site, Shapiro, PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney spoke about the progress made by crews working 24/7.

“We have worked around the clock to get this done, and we’ve completed each phase safely and ahead of schedule,” said Shapiro who is celebrating his 50th birthday. “That’s all due to the incredible coordination with our local, state, and federal partners – and thanks to the hard-working men and women of the Philadelphia Building Trades who are making this happen.

“This is what it looks like when the ingenuity of Delco meets the grit of Philly. This is what happens when we all come together.”

In partnership with PennDOT, the United States Department of Transportation, the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Building Trades, crews have worked around the clock to reopen the roadway safely within two weeks of the collapse – well ahead of original predictions.

Even last Saturday, Shapiro announced alongside President Joe Biden that the estimated time would be reduced from months to within two weeks. Today’s news is a welcome announcement for the nearly 140,000 vehicles that travel one of the Northeast corridor’s busiest roads.

Throughout this week, crews will begin paving three new lanes in both directions. Shapiro said that the plan is to have traffic on those six lanes while a new bridge is constructed “from the outside in there’ll be no disruption to traffic. They’ll always be six lanes moving during that process.”

Carroll spoke on the product used in the reconstruction of the bridge that was destroyed by a fire.

“I think it’s important for folks to know that glass aggregate is not new,” said the secretary. “It’s been used in Pennsylvania for seven or eight years underneath I-95. That glass aggregate is used in Maine, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and as far away as Arizona. Totality of the weight from the barriers will be about 400,000 pounds, or in excess of any truck that will traverse the new structure. I have 100 percent confidence in its ability to withstand the traffic that’s on that building once we open it.”

“We’re so grateful for the steadfast support from the governor’s office and PennDOT,” said Kenney. “The remarkable response and dedication of federal, state and local partners has been nothing short of astounding. I’m equally impressed by the hard work of construction crews and laborers have not stopped through the holiday weekend to get this done for the city of Philadelphia. Our state and our country are proud of the work that we are doing.”

I-95 Update 6/20 AM

Shapiro would not commit to which weekend day the roadway would be open.

“The paving is going to require about a 12-hour window of weather. Depending upon when we get that started, I won’t be able to give you a more precise time, but we’re confident we’ll hit this weekend.”

The governor also responded to a question about the much talked-about livestream of the construction project and its growing viewership at local bars.

“I think there’s a sense of civic pride,” he said. “I feel folks are cheering for us. They’re cheering for these folks that work with Ryan Boyer and the rest of the Philly Building Trades every day. I’m proud that they’re getting to see what I know about these guys. They are the most excellent workers in the nation.”

The total cost is projected by Shapiro and Carroll to be between $25-30 million.

One Response

  1. Did Shapiro mean PennDOT, not Delco? What is Delco? What does Delco have to do with I-95 repair in Philly?

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