I-95 in Philadelphia reopens just 12 days after fiery bridge collapse

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Updated Aug 17, 2023
i-95 reopen
Spectators cheer as the I-95 bridge in Philadelphia reopens to traffic.

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro at noon on Friday officially reopened six lanes of traffic on I-95 after a deadly tanker truck crash caused a fire and collapse of the roadway just 12 days ago.

Originally, Shapiro had predicted the bridge would take "a couple months" to reopen, but thanks to some "innovative" and "out-of-the box" moves from PennDOT and local businesses, the state was able to partially reopen the bridge within two weeks. 

"Over the past 12 days, the eyes of the country have been on Pennsylvania. We showed them what our grit and determination can accomplish, and we showed them good government in action," said Shapiro. "This is what we can do when government at all levels come together to get the job done. Let this serve as an example to all that Pennsylvania can do big things. When we come together, when we’re determined, we can do big things in this city and in this Commonwealth -- and this is proof."

The roadway isn't yet complete, however. The temporary bridge, according to local media, has three smaller no passing lanes spanning the affected area, and the speed limit is reduced to 45 mph. Look out for those slim lanes at just 11 feet, as opposed to the normal 12. 

"There will be no shoulders on the temporary roadway. Motorists are encouraged to drive safely along the temporary roadway, which will be an active work zone as work continues on the permanent bridge replacement," PennDOT wrote Overdrive

"The building trades folks are the real heroes here -- they constructed this in a skillful and speedy way, and I am eternally grateful for their dedication," said PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll. "PennDOT and our team and the Buckley team will continue our efforts to construct the facility on either side of this structure in an effort to restore I-95 to its full capacity."

The effort to reopen the bridge featured some sporting efforts from local athletic outfits, including a local raceway supplying a jet dryer to help speed up the process.

Furthermore, the Philadelphia Flyers, Eagles, Phillies, 76ers, and Union organizations made a collective $50,000 donation to build a trust for the daughter of Nathan Moody, the driver who died in the collapse on June 11.

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The local trucking community mourned Moody, and took his tragic crash as a reminder to stay vigilant on safety. 

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