President Joe Biden toured the aftermath of the collapsed section of Interstate 95 in Philadelphia on Saturday.
He and Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro took a helicopter to view the scene, and in a press conference shortly after, the governor announced the critical stretch of interstate should reopen within two weeks.
“I can state with confidence that we will have I-95 reopened within the next two weeks. We are going to get traffic moving again thanks to the extraordinary work that is going on here,” said Shapiro.
The stretch of the East Coast’s north-south highway collapsed last Sunday after a fuel tanker overturned and caught fire. According to officials, the driver, who , lost control of the vehicle when trying to navigate a curve.
Governor Shapiro issued a disaster declaration following the incident to allow the state to dip into federal funds and expedite repairs.
“I’ve directed my team… to move heaven and earth to get this done as soon as humanly possible,” President Biden said. “We’re with you. We’re going to stay with you until this is rebuilt, until it’s totally finished.”
It’s estimated that about 160,000 cars use the roadway every day, and Pennsylvania plans to bring in 2,000 tons of lightweight to expedite the reconstruction. Crews will operate around the clock until the highway can be reopened.