Watch live video of workers rebuilding I-95 in Philadelphia
🔴 Live video captures the work around Cottman Avenue
🔴 Work has started on a temporary roadway
🔴 Still no timetable from officials on its completion
PHILADELPHIA — The demolition of the collapsed overpass on I-95 was completed Thursday as PennDOT released an illustration of what the temporary roadway to be built will look like. The agency, however, was still tight-lipped about when it will be done.
"Just watched the incredible, hard-working folks rebuilding I-95 finish the demolition — days ahead of schedule," Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro said on his Twitter account. "We're working around the clock until this road is reopened."
Shapiro posted a picture of the live stream of work from the overpass under Cottman Avenue on a TV in his office at the Pennsylvania capitol. The one-camera steam will be available 24/7 on PennDOT's website.
No timetable for completion of the temporary roadway
Backfill material is already being brought to the site, which will fill the damaged area. Pennsylvania Transportation Secretary Michael Carroll estimated 20,000 cubic feet of material would be needed.
An illustration released by PennDOT shows a six-lane roadway between the existing north and south lanes that will carry traffic while the new overpasses are built. The agency did not disclose any additional information about the temporary roadway or offer a timetable for its completion.
Pennsylvania Secretary of Transportation Mike Carroll told 6 ABC Action News that crews are working "speedily" to complete the roadway "safely and efficiently." Factors such as equipment breakdown and weather could impact the speed of work.
Union: SEPTA ill-prepared
SEPTA's response to the closure came under attack by Don Hill, the general chairman of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, the union representing engineers.
Hill called the commuter rail line "inept" and accused the agency of being ill-prepared to handle additional ridership because of staffing problems. Service on the Cynwyd branch was completely canceled in order to shift staff and equipment to the Trenton line.
“We’re robbing Peter to pay Paul,” said Hill. “Prior to the I-95 collapse, SEPTA was only operating regional rail at 60 percent of its 2019 service level, with even lower levels of service nights and weekends. It’s outrageous and unreliable for our passengers to wait sometimes two to four hours on the weekend for a train."