Pennsylvania Governor Issues Disaster Declaration After I-95 Collapse

June 13, 2023
Crews began the clean up on Monday to clear away debris and get to the tanker truck

On Monday, crews began the clean up for the portion of Interstate 95 in Philadelphia that collapsed by demolishing large chunks of debris, according to authorities.

“Demolition of the collapsed bridges has begun and detours are in place,” the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) said in a release. “A more exact timeline for the complete rebuilding of the I-95 roadway should be available in the coming days once the engineers complete their review.”

Currently, federal investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the tanker truck fire that led to the collapse. Investigators are monitoring the emergency response as crews clear the way to get to the tanker truck that was carrying 8,500 gallons of gasoline - the initial focus of the investigation according to Jennifer Homendy, the head of NTSB.

The tanker was carrying gasoline bound for delivery at a local Wawa gas station, Homendy said in an interview with CNN.

We have to get in and see what we think happened with the tanker truck,” said Homendy. “There are lots of different scenarios,” she said. Investigators could also consider the structural makeup of the bridge, she added.

As crews cleaned the debris, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro issued a disaster declaration, allowing the state to receive federal funds and cut red tape to expedite repairs.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Monday that his agency is prepared to help local officials swiftly address the extensive disruption caused by the collapse. “But, just to be clear, swiftly is not going to be overnight,” Buttigieg told reporters at an event hosted by the American Council of Engineering Companies. “We’re talking about major structural work,” he said.


Source: PennDOT, CNN, MSN