One day before the weekend that was projected to mark the reopening of a collapsed section of Interstate 95 in Philadelphia, the major north-south interstate is back in business.
Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro announced the reopening at about noon Eastern time Friday via Twitter, which he has used as his primary vehicle for updates.
The collapse of the highway as a result of a tanker truck explosion below an overpass took place June 11. Early estimates were that reconstructing the road would take months. The northbound lane collapsed onto the road below; the southbound lane was structurally damaged and could not be repaired, requiring that it also be rebuilt.
On Sunday, Shapiro said the reopening could take place in two weeks, which would have put it on or about the weekend of July 1-2.
On Tuesday, the governor said the reopening would be this weekend.
Instead, it was up and running midday Friday. A livestream of the overpass can be seen here.
The reopening brings a rapid close to a saga that looked like it might create supply chain chaos for weeks or months. But even in the two weeks the road was shut, most observers said significant disruptions did not occur.
Kristen Scudder, the freight manager for the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, told FreightWaves soon after the road collapse that 150,000 to 160,000 vehicles travel I-95 each day on the stretch of road in northeast Philadelphia where the collapse occurred, in a part of the city known as Tacony. She said about 9% of those are trucks.
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