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U.S. DOT grants $3M in emergency relief fund for I-95

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The U.S. Department of Transportation 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 defray the costs of repair work on a section of Interstate 95 in Philadelphia that collapsed due to a gasoline tanker truck fire.

“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,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement. “We will continue to use every federal resource we can to help Pennsylvania restore this key artery quickly and safely.”

The funds will be utilized to sustain emergency operations and diversion routes for a facility that typically accommodates about 160,000 cars per day, as well as for the destruction of damaged buildings and urgent repairs to resume important traffic. As part of the plans to carry out the long-term repair work and reconstruct that portion of I-95, PennDOT may also move forward with preliminary engineering, surveys, and design.

“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,” Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt said. “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.”

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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