Traffic’s back on damaged section of I-95 in Philly

June 23, 2023

Chuck Robinson


Traffic is flowing again on the shutdown section of I-95 just 12 days after a fiery crash closed it.

The highway has reopened with six lanes of temporary pavement — three 11-foot lanes each way. The pavement has been laid over a bed of recycled glass aggregate made of discarded bottles turned into a lightweight, gravel-like material.

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

The speed limit over this segment of I-95 will be 45 mph. There are no shoulders on the temporary roadway.

Although temporary repairs have reopened I-95, there is no official timeline for the full reconstruction. Officials have said they expect it to take months.

Engineers have already begun designing and ordering materials for a new permanent bridge over Cottman Avenue.

Even with traffic on the reopened section of I-95, the Cottman Avenue exit from northbound I-95 will remain closed as crews work to fully reconstruct the highway, PennDOT reports.

Accelerating timeline for I-95 repairs

The timeline for reopening has been a moving target.

On Sunday morning, June 11, a gasoline tanker that carried more than 8,000 gallons of fuel tipped over while the driver was negotiating an off-ramp curve at the Cottman Avenue exit. The truck caught fire underneath an overpass, causing a section of the northbound lanes to cave in. The southbound lanes also were. The truck driver, Nathan Moody, 53, died in the incident.

Repairs to the damaged stretch of roadway were initially expected to take months.

Shapiro announced on Saturday, June 17 that temporary repairs would take two weeks. On Tuesday, Shapiro promised that the highway would reopen by this weekend. On Thursday, he moved the reopening to noon on today, June 23. LL

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