Reconstruction of collapsed portion of I-95 in Philadelphia hits major milestone

Tuesday, November 7, 2023
I-95 collapse repairs: Permanent northbound lanes open in Northeast Philadelphia
The first half of the new I-95 bridge at the Cottman Avenue interchange is open just five months after the interstate collapsed after a truck fire.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- PennDOT opened permanent northbound lanes on Interstate 95 at Cottman Avenue Tuesday, marking a major milestone after the interstate collapsed during a fatal tanker truck fire nearly five months ago.

Traffic was shifted onto the new outer lane bridge on the northbound side Tuesday around 2 a.m., before the start of rush hour on one of the busiest stretches of interstate in the country.

PennDOT initially reduced the northbound side to one lane at the Cottman Avenue Interchange before it was fully opened.

Road crews worked to paint new lines on the highway and moved barricades allowing for the outer lanes to be opened up.

All of this comes after a tanker truck crashed on Cottman Avenue, claiming the life of a truck driver on June 11.

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The fire led to the collapse of the I-95 overpass .

Detours and construction brought traffic to a standstill in the heavily traveled area.

PennDOT rebuilt and opened six temporary lanes within 12 days.

Now, nearly five months later, PennDOT has shifted traffic from the temporary roadway onto the new outer lanes of the northbound bridge.

The southbound side will be next.

Expect slow traffic while heading south Wednesday after 9 p.m., and lasting into Thursday until around 5 a.m. when the southbound outer lanes are expected to open.

"What will happen next is, we will deconstruct the temporary roadway beginning in the next number of days after the traffic is of course shifted," said PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll. "That will unfold without too much dependency on weather. We will then of course construct the third bridge that will carry I-95 over Cottman. We expect to have that done in a matter of months."

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Officials said the recycled glass aggregate that is being used in the temporary roadway will be reused in other projects along the I-95 corridor, including the I-95 Cap project at Penn's Landing.

Carroll said the winter weather could impact their ability to build the third bridge quickly but expects the project to be completed sometime in 2024.