Live camera shows repair work to collapsed portion of Interstate 95 in Philadelphia

The company expects to ship about 20,000 cubic yards of the material to the collapse site.

John Paul Image
Thursday, June 15, 2023

EDDYSTONE, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The trucks started rolling on Thursday morning as a Delaware County aggregates company that is helping repair Interstate 95 is getting ready for a busy few weeks.

Just as the first trucks started to arrive, PennDOT activated its 24/7 live stream showing the construction.

LIVE VIDEO: Watch as construction crews work to rebuild Interstate 95

"It's sort of our first, all-hands-on-deck emergency response," said Rick Smith of Aero Aggregates.

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro announced on Wednesday that temporary lanes will be constructed on I-95 near Cottman Avenue where a bridge collapsed on Sunday after a tanker truck tipped and caught fire.

READ | When will I-95 reopen? Officials unveil plan to repair highway, but decline questions on timeline

Officials say the temporary lanes will be constructed by filling in the bridge gap with specially engineered fill and then paving over it while a permanent bridge is constructed around it.

The fill is being transported in from Aero Aggregates, about 25 miles south of the collapse, in Eddystone. It's made from recycled glass that is baked at high temperatures with a special foam, which creates something similar to a rock.

The material, known as Ultra-Lightweight Foamed Glass Aggregate (UL-FGA), is lightweight, durable, and stays in place, officials say.

The material has to be lightweight for this application to prevent the road from sinking.

"The idea is you don't want to put additional weight on the soft soil below the structure," said Smith.

It's already been used in projects across Pennsylvania, including under the tarmac at the Philadelphia International Airport.

The fill will be placed in layers, like a cake. Metal caging will go in between the layers for additional support and the top will be paved over with six lanes for drivers.

SEE ALSO | Civil engineers weigh in on I-95 repair process in Philadelphia

The company expects to ship about 20,000 cubic yards of the material to the collapse site.

"This is going to be very busy over the next few days," Smith said.

Pennsylvania State Police will help with the delivery. Officials say they will escort up to 50 truckloads a day to the collapse site.

Trucks may even use the closed northbound lanes of I-95 to get to the site.

Smith said he's glad his company in Delaware County can help out in this disaster.

"I'm very proud to be part of the solution," Smith said.

There is no firm estimate for how long it will take to construct the temporary lanes.