Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg warned the I-95 bridge collapse in Northeast Philadelphia would cause “major disruption” for regional transportation and commuters. The stretch of I-95 will be closed for at least a month while the bridge is being rebuilt.
On Monday, Buttigieg addressed the American Council of Engineering Companies in Washington. He said his agency is working with state and local officials to rebuild the bridge and will provide financing and technical support.
Buttigieg warned summer travel on the I-95 through Philadelphia could be a nightmare:
“This is not just about commutes.
“This is also about supply chains, about 150,000 vehicles a day, and a good percentage of that is trucking. For both vehicle passenger traffic, and for goods moving supply chains, this is going to be a major disruption in that region.”
I-95 is a major artery for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast and the entire East Coast.
The bridge that collapsed Sunday morning was due to a tanker fire underneath.
The highway sees, on average, 150,000 vehicles a day. Traffic chaos is already underway:
Tumar Alexander, managing director for the City of Philadelphia, told CBS News that the I-95 closure will have “a significant impact to this community for a while.”
“95 will be impacted for a long time,” Alexander said.
Jana Tidwell, a spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic, told Bloomberg that the I-95 closure comes as peak driving is nearing on a seasonal basis.
Also, on Monday, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro declared a disaster emergency to tap federal funds to rebuild the bridge as quickly as possible.
Shapiro, on Sunday, told reporters the bridge rebuild could take “some number of months.”
If you pass Philadelphia this summer, avoid traveling on the I-95 and other highways during peak travel hours.