(PHILADELPHIA) Attendees at ARTBA’s 2015 National Convention Sept. 30 toured a long-term, multi-phase initiative to rebuild 51 miles of Interstate 95 through the region.
Elaine Elbich, design portfolio manager for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, briefed the group on the 7.6-mile corridor reconstruction currently underway, which has a total price tag of $2.5 billion. Contractors have delivered $785 million in work from 2009 through last year.
Remaining portions of the project are expected to cost up to $15 billion.
Project challenges include separating residential and industrial traffic; relocating stormwater outfalls and utility lines; and working on or near Conrail and Delaware River Port Authority properties. “This is not just the 95 of highways, it’s the 95 of utilities and transit,” Elbich said.
The I-95 reconstruction also includes some 200 bridges, most of them dating to the highway’s original construction in the 1960s. That’s one of the reasons why Pennsylvania has the nation’s highest percentage of structurally deficient bridges.
This section of the project is projected to be completed by 2030. Work on the next section is not expected to begin until 2019.