PHILADELPHIA – President Joe Biden took an aerial tour Saturday over the collapsed area of Interstate 95 in Philadelphia.
Gov. Josh Shapiro, Sens. Bob Casey and John Fetterman, Rep. Brendan Boyle, and Mayor Jim Kenney all joined Biden on the presidential Marine One helicopter, according to The Associated Press.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said that Shapiro and Biden were to discuss continued coordination efforts between local, state, and federal partners on Saturday to get I-95 operational again.
“We are going to get traffic moving again — thanks to the extraordinary efforts of our incredible union trade workers and our all-hands-on-deck approach,” Shapiro said.
Today, I can state with confidence:
We will have I-95 open within the next two weeks.
We are going to get traffic moving again — thanks to the extraordinary efforts of our incredible union trade workers and our all hands on deck approach.
— Governor Josh Shapiro (@GovernorShapiro) June 17, 2023
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visited the area on Tuesday, according to the AP. Buttigieg promised that the federal government would provide assistance for repairs. Buttigieg also warned that consumer goods costs could go up because truckers have to travel longer routes since the area is closed off. The repair is expected to take weeks if not longer.
“President Biden has instructed his team to move heaven and earth and work around the clock to ensure the fastest possible reconstruction of the highway,” Olivia Dalton, the White House principal deputy press secretary, said Friday, according to the AP.
On Friday, the demolition was completed days ahead of schedule, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Crews were able to start working on building the roadway.
“I would describe today as a very productive day, and significant progress will continue the day into the night. You’ll be able to see tangible evidence of our progress,” said Pennsylvania Secretary of Transportation Mike Carroll in a briefing Friday, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Biden is expected to attend a political event with union workers at Philadelphia’s convention center Saturday evening, according to the AP.