Philadelphia’s I-95 Bridge Collapse Points to Further Infrastructure Problems

Amy Lutz /
Amy Lutz /

With thankfully light Sunday traffic, a section of the I-95 northbound just collapsed over the Cottman Avenue exit with a vehicle fire going under the bridge. The southbound overpass remained up but was heavily damaged in the incident. With repairs slated to take multiple months to complete, commuters will need to find alternate routes. These routes aren’t always the easiest to get to, and GPS will take time to adequately update, experts warn.

According to Philadelphia Mayor Kim Kenney, “We’re not aware of any injuries at this time, but we understand the situation is fluid.” With the truck that caused the fire still trapped underneath and multiple cars passing over the bridge just before it gave out, this is nothing short of a miracle.

Multiple sources are confirming that a truck carrying a petroleum-based product caught fire under the bridge, and allegedly the fire was so hot that sections melted and gave way before the ultimate collapse. In neighboring Tacony and the surrounding area, numerous reports came in of multiple explosions being heard. At least one person claims to have seen a manhole cover go flying through the air.

With the Delaware River running nearby, many are concerned that there is runoff from gasoline or whatever petroleum-based product the truck was carrying. With Governor Josh Shapiro reporting “a slight sheen” on the nearby water during his aerial tour of the damage, their concerns are well founded. Local officials are not concerned about the water-treatment plants and have vowed to remain diligent.

All of this adds up to greater concerns about the infrastructure in the country. With Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in charge and unwilling to do anything to fix problems as they pop up, it’s like a bad landlord. The American people are beginning to notice how horrible our system is failing us.

Bridges are collapsing, massive potholes are showing up on previously undamaged streets, and even sidewalks are buckling. That’s not even mentioning the massive sewer and water infrastructure problems that are looming. As we hit the estimated end-of-life use for many of these passageways, something needs to be done.

Unfortunately, with President Biden in office, federal funds aren’t coming any time soon, and local officials can’t cover it all themselves. With politicians in office who prioritize trans funding over train funding, giving illegals rights and leaving us with what’s left, and funding wars that don’t concern us as people starve, we have a big mess on our hands.