The collapse of an elevated section of Interstate 95 in Philadelphia sparked fears of a monthslong traffic snarl, which were eased Friday when officials announced the section’s reopening.
“Experts told us it would take months to reopen I-95,” tweeted Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro Friday. “We reopened I-95 in 12 days.”
“Thanks to Governor Shapiro, federal and state actors, and the grit and determination of union workers doing shifts around the clock, I-95 is reopening,” tweeted President Biden. “And it’s ahead of schedule.”
The collapse on June 11 resulted in the closure of a stretch of the highway, which carries on average 160,000 vehicles a day, around 8% of which are trucks.
FedEx Corp. FDX,
A United Parcel Service Inc. UPS,
The six temporary lanes reopened at noon on Friday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Videos posted on social media showed Philadelphia sports mascots, including the Philles’ Phillie Phanatic riding atop a firetruck on the reopened section of the Interstate.
A live stream on the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation website late Friday showed three lanes of northbound and three lanes of southbound traffic flowing on the highway.
Full reconstruction of the section is expected to take months, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Daniel Fine, CEO of supply chain fintech company Setscale told MarketWatch that the I-95 collapse underlines the risks that transportation companies, big box retailers and small businesses can face.
“This is another reminder that companies need to diversify their options,” he said. “We’re seeing reminders left, right, and center that nobody should be dependent on a single supplier or a single port.”
Two years ago the Suez Canal blockage caused when a cargo ship ran aground was also a wake-up call, according to Fine. “The world is run on trade finance and supply chain,” he said. “Ensuring that capital is held in multiple locations and can come from multiple partners, for me, is a necessity.”