Maryland roadways are not immediately affected by Sunday’s collapse of a small section of I-95 in Northeast Philadelphia, but drivers heading toward the city should plan ahead for their travels.
A tanker truck carrying gasoline caught fire early Sunday after flipping over on an off-ramp, and the fire caused an elevated section of the interstate to collapse, shutting down the heavily used highway in both directions around the site.
One body, which was feared to be the driver of the truck, was recovered from the collapse, according to the Associated Press.
In four to five days, the roadway will be fully torn down, and after demolition is completed, a timeline of when the highway will be repaired will be made available, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Nicole Monroe, media and public affairs manager for the Maryland Transportation Authority, said in a statement the bridge collapse has not caused backups on northern Maryland roads, including the stretch of I-95 that is in the state.
To alert motorists traveling north on the interstate to the closure in Philadelphia, MTA and the Maryland State Highway Administration placed “20 overhead dynamic message signs,” Monroe said.
The message on some of those signs will change as crashes on Maryland highways occur. Drivers planning to travel can check the message signs on the state’s CHART site.
Because it’s summer travel season and roadways may become more congested, Ali said there could be traffic backups as motorists take detours into Pennsylvania and the New Jersey suburbs around the closed portion of I-95.
Ragina Ali, public affairs manager for AAA Mid-Atlantic, encouraged drivers traveling through northeastern Maryland and toward Philadelphia to plan ahead for their trip by finding parallel routes to I-95 around the affected area, and planning for extra tolls and gas costs.
Drivers heading northbound on I-95 in Philadelphia will be directed to detour to I-676 West, then to I-76 West, and onto U.S. 1 North and to Route 63 East, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Motorists traveling the I-95 corridor to points north of Philadelphia, such as New York City, typically access the New Jersey Turnpike via the Delaware Memorial Bridge, located about 35 miles south of Center City in Philadelphia.