Skip to content

House passes bill to extend emergency disaster proclamation for I-95

House passes bill to extend emergency disaster proclamation for I-95

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted to pass House Bill 279, sponsored by state Representative Anthony Bellmon (D-Philadelphia) to extend the emergency disaster proclamation for I-95.

If the bill passes, it would allow work to continue to rebuild the overpass that collapsed in June. 

“The I-95 bridge collapse has had a major effect on Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the entire northeast United States,” Bellmon said. “We must extend the governor’s emergency declaration to ensure the bridge gets the proper reconstruction it needs so that we don’t witness another catastrophe happen to it, and so travelers can be safe driving on it.” 

Last June, a tanker truck driver carrying gasoline lost control of the vehicle as he attempted to exit the highway. It caught fire after the crash causing the bridge above to collapse. 

I-95 is a critical route on the East Coast connecting several big cities. The closure of this route led to major delays in the Philadelphia area impacting the shipment of goods in and around the city. 

Governor Josh Shapiro declared a disaster emergency proclamation the day after the crash.

A proclamation like this allows the Commonwealth to quickly draw federal funds and authorizes state agencies to use all available resources to expedite work. It also allows state agencies to cut through red tape leading to the quickest rebuild possible. 

The first extension of the proclamation was contained in S.R. 136, introduced by state Senator Jimmy Dillion, which extended the proclamation until November 1. That was followed by another extension by offered by state Representative Pat Gallagher in H.R. 197. 

“I am thankful for my House and Senate colleagues for making the reconstruction of I-95 a priority this legislative session.” Said state Rep. Ed Neilson, chairman of the PA House Transportation Committee. “While we had crews working around the clock to ensure that I-95 was open in record time, we need to make sure that the construction is completed safely above all else to avoid catastrophes like this.”  

The resolution now heads to the Senate for consideration. 


Powered By GrowthZone
Scroll To Top