In stunning update, I-95 to reopen in Philadelphia this weekend
🔴 Interstate 95 in Philadelphia is reopening ahead of schedule
🔴 Work will begin rebuilding the collapsed overpasses
🔴 The federal government is paying for the entire project
Commuters from New Jersey and Bucks County whose drive has been interrupted by the collapse of the northbound Interstate 95 overpass at Cottman Avenue will be able to resume that drive this weekend.
Gov. Josh Shapiro gave the optimistic update Tuesday at the job site after the completion of the dumping of backfill into the area where the I-95 overpasses once stood.
“I can confidently state traffic will be flowing here on I-95 this weekend,” Shapiro said. "We're going to have three lanes north, three lanes south. Traffic's going to be flowing. While that's happening we'll be rebuilding the bridge from the outside in. There'll always be six lanes moving during that process."
Shapiro was less confident about the reopening of Cottman Avenue and Bridge Street exits.
"We'll get that all reopened when the process is done," Shapiro said.
Temporary road opens ahead of time
During a visit by President Joe Biden on Saturday, the Democratic governor vowed to reopen by July 1. He credited the 12-hour shifts put in by workers who gave up their Father's Day, the federal government and the city of Philadelphia.
The work of backfilling the area where the collapsed overpass once stood with 2,000 tons of aggregated fill made partially of glass is complete and the task of paving, striping and will begin.
"In nine days these folks behind me have completed the demolition, built the entire structure for the interim roadway and begun installing these barriers. This is all due to the incredible work of women and men of the Philadelphia Building Trades, our contractors led by the great Buckley & Co. and the exceptionally talented team at PennDOT."
Shapiro would not commit to whether the road would reopen on Saturday or Sunday.
"The paving will require a 12-hour window of weather. Depending on when we get that started we'll be able to give you a more precise window," Shapiro said.
Shapiro estimated the cost of the project at $25-30 million, which will be paid by the federal government.