On June 11, an elevated, northbound section of the I-95 near Philadelphia collapsed, killing one person. Construction efforts are underway less than a week after the incident. On Thursday, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro announced the launch of a 24/7 livestream showing ongoing repairs in an effort to keep the public informed on progress towards reopening the section to the estimated 160,000 daily vehicles.
The livestream’s single camera is positioned on a nearby on-ramp, and shows dozens of construction workers currently clearing the site to make it ready for repairs. The governor’s office stated that “between 1,500 to over 2,200” viewers tuned in throughout the first day to watch crews begin their initial work. At the time of writing, nearly 3,000 people were viewing construction efforts.
The National Transportation Safety Board’s preliminary report on the disaster won’t be available for another two-to-three weeks, but initial assessments indicate the driver of a tanker truck filled with 8,500 gallons of gasoline lost control their vehicle, causing it to tip and subsequently ignite. Although that particular portion of I-95 was relatively new and structurally sound, Pennsylvania’s transportation secretary, Mike Carroll, explained in a news conference that experts believe the resulting fire’s intensity caused steel beam supports to weaken before subsequently giving way.
As CNN notes, the June 11 I-95 disaster recalls a similar 2017 accident that occurred along a section of I-85 in Atlanta. In that instance, fiberglass tubing and other construction materials caught fire underneath a 92-foot elevated portion of highway during rush hour. Unlike the I-95 collapse, however, no injuries or fatalities were reported. An investigation undertaken by the National Transportation Safety Board eventually laid a portion of the blame on the Georgia Department of Transportation for improperly storing the flammable materials underneath the roadway. The I-85 reopened to public traffic roughly 43 days following the collapse.
Experts have already cautioned more patience for the I-95 situation, however, and warned it could be months until the corridor is ready for traffic again. Meanwhile, you can watch the already impressive progress 24/7 here.
“Turn it on in the background. You won’t regret it,” Gov. Shapiro tweeted on Thursday.