WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has announced the immediate availability of $3 million in “quick release” emergency relief 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.
Truck driver Nathaniel Moody died after police say he lost control of his rig and flipped his rig. No other injuries were reported.
“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, 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, according to federal transportation officials.
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