Governor Shapiro, Shapiro Administration Officials, City of Philadelphia, and SEPTA Provide Update on I-95 Collapse
June 11, 2023
Information on detours and to stay up to date, visit www.pa.gov/i95updates
Philadelphia, PA – Today, Governor Josh Shapiro, along with officials from the Shapiro Administration, the City of Philadelphia, and SEPTA provided an update on the response to the vehicle fire on the Route 73/Cottman Avenue ramp under Interstate 95 in Philadelphia, which caused the roadway in this area to partially collapse, and heavily damaged the southbound structure. The interstate is closed in both directions.
“Interstate 95 is a critical artery that supports our economy and plays an important role in Pennsylvanians’ day to day lives. My Administration is all hands on deck to repair this safely and as efficiently as possible,” said Governor Shapiro. “We will rebuild and recover – and in the meantime, we will make sure people can get to where they need to go safely.”
This morning, according to first responders in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania State Police, at approximately 6:20am, a vehicle fire under I-95 near the Cottman Avenue exit in Northeast Philadelphia caused a portion of the highway to collapse. Preliminary reports indicate a commercial truck carrying a petroleum-based product was the source of the fire. Since the crash occurred, PEMA has also been on-site, coordinating response efforts with local and federal partners.
“This incident will cause significant disruption, not only to residents and businesses in the area, but also to commerce and travelers along the East Coast, said PEMA Director Randy Padfield. We will work closely with our federal, state and Philadelphia partners to provide the necessary support and resources to make repairs as quickly as possible.”
The Pennsylvania State Police have also been on the scene, assisting Philly Police in diverting traffic off I-95.
“We ask motorists to exercise care and patience for their personal safety and the safety of other motorists and first responders,” said Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Colonel Christopher Paris. “Those who cannot avoid driving on Philadelphia-area highways should slow down, avoid distractions, and follow the direction of first responders.”
Since this morning, PennDOT personnel, including Secretary Mike Carroll, have been on site, inspecting the roadway. As has been reported, the northbound side of I-95 has completely collapsed and the southbound side is not structurally sound to carry any traffic over it. In response, PennDOT, the City of Philadelphia, and SEPTA have created detours and are working on further alternative methods to ensure folks can safely get to where they need to go.
“Interstate 95 is a critical link for travel along the east coast,” said PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll. “We know that this incident will have impacts to the traveling public, and we’re grateful for the work of our first responders, and the collaboration with our fellow state agencies, the City of Philadelphia, our federal partners, and many other stakeholders as we work together to respond.”
The complete rebuilding of the I-95 roadway is expected to take a number of months. The Administration will have a more exact timeline in the coming days once the engineers complete their review. To expedite this process and to cut through the red tape, tomorrow morning, Governor Shapiro plans to issue a disaster declaration, allowing the Commonwealth to immediately draw down federal funds and move quickly to begin the repair and reconstruction process.
“City agencies are working with our state partners to respond to the partial collapse of I-95 from a vehicle fire. Please avoid the area and plan for alternative routes of travel. We will continue to provide updates on this incident,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “I want to thank our first responders, PennDOT, SEPTA, and all our state and local partners for your continued response to this incident. And thank you Governor Shapiro for coming to Philadelphia and for your continued support. Coordination between State, City agencies, and elected officials, has been, and will continue to be essential to our emergency response effort as well as with recovery and reconstruction.”
“This is emergency has created a tremendous challenge for our transportation network. SEPTA is committed to working with the city and the state to help our residents get through this,” said SEPTA General Manager and CEO Leslie S. Richards. “We are working hard to ensure that SEPTA is providing reliable service on Regional Rail, the Market-Frankford Line, buses and other transit services. We will monitor service and make adjustments as we move forward, so please check for the latest updates at septa.org and @SEPTA.”
PennDOT has detour routes in place in the area:
- I-95 Southbound: Route 63 West (Woodhaven Road), U.S. 1 South, 76 East, 676 East
- I-95 Northbound: I-676 West, I-76 West, U.S. 1 North to Route 63 East (Woodhaven Road)
For more on detour routes and related information, visit pa.gov/i95updates.
Motorists can check conditions on major roadways by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras.
511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts.