Permanent I-95 repairs begin

March 27, 2008 2:31:48 PM PDT
Work began to permanently fix the failed concrete pillar under a stretch of I-95 that led to last week's emergency shutdown.The sound of jack hammers resumed as a PennDot contractor began dismantling the cracked support beam beneath Interstate I-95.

It is a crack in a concrete beam supporting the elevated portion of I-95 near Ann and Richmond Street in Port Richmond.

The support column was set for replacement later this year a part of a multi-million dollar overhaul, but when the crack appeared to advance more quickly than anticipated the highway was shut down. The roadway was jacked up and crews spent nearly 3 days erecting 4 temporary steel pillars around the original concrete beam.

The temporary towers can support 2-million pounds, twice the weight of the original beam. It will take about 6 weeks to rebuild the permanent replacement.

180,000 cars typically use the effected stretch of I-95 every day. During last week's I-95 shutdown, traffic jammed as cars were diverted through the neighborhood, clogging Port Richmond streets and delaying drivers for hours on end.

Business at the Aramingo Diner dropped off 80% last week. The manager is glad this process won't affect traffic and consequently the diner's bottom line.