Cracked column discovery shut down thoroughfare.
The Pennsylvania Dept. of Transportation officials reopened early March 20 a 3-mile section of I-95 near Philadelphia, after two days. Contractor J.D. Eckman, Inc., of Atglen, Pa., began repairing a steel-reinforced 15-ft-tall column that had a 2-inch-wide, 6-ft-long crack. Workers on Tuesday (3/18/08) morning erected four steel towers to surround and support the pillar while it was repaired. PennDOT engineers initially closed two miles of the heavily traveled stretch of roadway, then increased the closed section to three miles. Workers erected four steel towers to surround and support the bridge.
Repairs to the pillar are not done yet, and could take up to two months to complete, says PennDOT spokesperson Charles Metzger, adding that PennDOT’s consultants are inspecting all of the bridges on I-95 around Philadelphia. “We’ll be compiling a list of priority maintenance issues to be addressed,” Metzger says. Over the next two years, $30 million in maintenance projects will be done on I-95 around Philadelphia, Metzger notes. Five sections of the roadway, totaling $1.9 billion in projects, will be reconstructed over the next decade.