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I-95 collapse will “add significant cost” to the trucking industry, says ATA

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The collapse of Interstate 95 in Philadelphia is expected to have far reaching consequences on the trucking industry serving the region, experts say. 

Sunday’s collapse was sparked by a tanker truck losing control while turning left after an exit ramp, and led to the total destruction of a portion of I-95. The truck driver died in the inferno. Now, the American Trucking Association says that the resulting detours and extended construction will affect the trucking industry negatively. 

Commercial trucks make up between eight and nine percent of the 150,000 vehicles that use the now-collapsed section of I-95 each day – that’s about 14,000 trucks. 

“Those vehicles are now subject to more than 40 miles of detour, a detour that is mostly non-Interstate highway with more than 60 traffic lights,” said an ATA spokesperson to ABC 6. “This will add significant cost in time, fuel and delays so we urge state and federal agencies to target appropriate resources to repairing and replacing this highway as quickly as possible.”

“There are a number of industrial businesses ranging from port facilities to manufacturing surrounding the collapsed portion of the highway, making it a prime corridor for regional freight movement,” said the city’s planning commission freight program manager, Kristen Scudder. “Those industries are what’s going to feel the brunt of the disruption probably due to surface street delays and potentially diversions for shipments coming in and out.”

Nearby Interstate 295 and the New Jersey Turnpike are pathways for a massive portion of national freight, making I-95 a crucial connection for local goods to get to and from the area. Although the detours are expected to have “a significant impact to this community for a while,” officials hope that traffic will become more stable and predictable as locals grow accustomed to the new detours. 

The demolition of the overpass is expected to begin in the next five days, but it is unclear how long repairs will take. Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro says that it could take a “number of months” and has signed a disaster declaration. This will allow Pennsylvania to access $7 million in state funds and use federal funds for the rebuilding efforts. 

The bridge was constructed just over 10 years ago and was considered “structurally sound” before the accident. For now, all lanes between Woodhaven Road and Aramingo Avenue exits are closed in both directions indefinitely.

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