An elevated section of Interstate 95 in northeast Philadelphia collapsed Sunday, shutting the highway — a closure that could take the key freight artery offline for weeks if not longer.
According to media reports, the early morning fire was caused by an oil tanker that caught fire underneath the elevated structure. The collapse is reported to be in a neighborhood of northeast Philadelphia known as Tacony, but the closure of the road is 7 miles long, from Exit 25 at Academy Road to Exit 32, Linden Avenue.
Video and photos from the site show a slab of the highway collapsed onto the road below.
The Twitter feed of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said the road beneath the collapsed section of the interstate is near the intersection of Route 73 and Cottman Avenue.
City of Philadelphia Managing Director Tumar Alexander, quoted by philly.com, the website for The Philadelphia Inquirer, said “I-95 will be impacted for a long time, for a long time.”
There were no immediate reports of injuries.
Media outlets already are publishing alternative routes to get around the closure. This is a list of recommendations from the NBC affiliate in Philadelphia.
But the recommendations by NBC and other outlets are for motorists looking to access the city itself.
Truckers traveling north to south already can bypass that area by using the New Jersey Turnpike or Interstate 295, which parallels much of the New Jersey Turnpike and at a few points has less than a quarter-mile between the two roads.
But that is only minimally relevant to traffic headed to the city itself. According to a website called The Greater Encyclopedia of Philadelphia, which includes a history of I-95 in that region, by 2010, the stretch of I-95 through Bucks County, which is north of the city, was carrying 136,000 cars per day and 19,000 trucks.
Trucking capacity in Philadelphia has been looser than in the rest of the country. The Outbound Tender Rejection Index in SONAR for Philadelphia stood at 1.75 Saturday. For the U.S as a whole, it was 2.86.
Future of Supply Chain
JUNE 21-22, 2023 • CLEVELAND, OH • IN-PERSON EVENT
The greatest minds in the transportation, logistics and supply chain industries will share insights, predict future trends and showcase emerging technology the FreightWaves way–with engaging discussions, rapid-fire demos, interactive sponsor kiosks and more.