The currently collapsed part of Interstate 95 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, will be reopened in the next two weeks, the state’s governor announced on Saturday.
Part of the elevated section of the interstate collapsed on June 11 after a tanker truck caught fire underneath it. The tanker truck, which was transporting 8,500 gallons of gasoline, flipped on an off-ramp.
President Joe Biden visited Philadelphia and surveyed the interstate on Saturday from a helicopter alongside Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro.
At a briefing at the Philadelphia International Airport following the helicopter tour, Shapiro announced that the state aims to have the interstate reopened within two weeks.
“I can state with confidence that we will have I-95 reopened within the next two weeks. We are going to get traffic moving again thanks to the extraordinary work that is going on here,” Shapiro said.
The interstate is currently being reconstructed using 2,000 tons of glass nuggets, which are being used to fill in the collapsed section.
After that, a replacement bridge will be built next to it to reroute traffic while crews excavate the fill to restore the exit ramp, officials have said.
Shapiro said the Philadelphia community has joined together following the collapse, and there is “something special happening in our community.”
“We are getting it done here in Philly,” Shapiro said.
Biden also spoke at the briefing where he acknowledged the importance of the interstate and its permanent reconstruction, saying that is it critical to the U.S. economy and citizens’ quality of life.
“I’ve directed my team … to move heaven and earth to get this done as soon as humanly possible,” Biden said. He said he also told Shapiro, “There’s no more important project right now in the country as far as I’m concerned.”
“We’re with you. We’re going to stay with you until this is rebuilt, until it’s totally finished,” Biden said.
Watch the construction livestream:‘Like an ant farm’: At any moment, thousands are watching the I-95 construction livestream
Contributing: Seung Min Kim, The Associated Press