U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $3 Million in ‘Quick Release’ Emergency Relief Funding to Rebuild I-95 in Philadelphia

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June 15, 2023 (press release) –

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Tanker truck fire causes partial collapse of key north-south connector

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today announced the immediate availability of $3 million in “quick release” Emergency Relief (ER) funds for use as a down payment by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to offset costs of repair work on a section of Interstate 95 in Philadelphia that collapsed as the result of a gasoline tanker truck fire. More funding is available through the FHWA’s Emergency Relief program.

“Every day counts in this urgent reconstruction project, and the quick-release funding is an important step to help PennDOT rebuild the collapsed portion of I-95,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “We will continue to use every federal resource we can to help Pennsylvania restore this key artery quickly and safely.”

Over the last several days, Secretary Buttigieg, Under Secretary for Transportation Carlos Monje and Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt have visited the site to view the damage and meet with state and local officials and labor leaders. 

“The I-95 corridor is a vital connection for people and goods traveling along the East Coast, and we are working hand in hand with state and local officials to make the necessary repairs,” said Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt. “We know thousands of people and businesses rely on this interstate every day, which is why we are providing this quick release funding to ensure PennDOT can reopen this section of I-95 as quickly as possible.”

The funding will be used towards maintaining emergency operations and detour routes for a structure that normally carries about 160,000 vehicles on average each day, the demolition of damaged structures, and emergency repairs to restore essential traffic. PennDOT can also proceed with preliminary engineering, surveys and design as part of plans to perform the permanent restoration work and rebuild that section of I-95.

On June 11, a tanker truck exiting the interstate crashed and exploded under Interstate-95 in Philadelphia. The northbound bridge collapsed and the southbound bridge was severely compromised. The entire section will need to be replaced.

FHWA’s Emergency Relief program provides funding to States, territories, Tribes, and Federal Land Management Agencies for highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic external events. These “quick release” Emergency Relief funds are an initial installment of funds to help restore essential transportation. Additional funds needed to repair the damage to I-95 in Pennsylvania will continue to be supported by the Emergency Relief program. 

More information about FHWA’s Emergency Relief program can be found online at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/programadmin/erelief.cfm.

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