The “Remarkable Devastation” of the I-95 Collapse

Plus, about those ugly Center City game-piece sculptures …

The I-95 collapse in Philadelphia (Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management/Getty Images)

Smoke rises from a collapsed section of I-95 on June 11th in Northeast Philly. (Photo by City of Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management via Getty Images)

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The “Remarkable Devastation” of the I-95 Collapse

“Avoid Northeast Philly.”

That was the message displayed on those digital boards above local highways on Sunday in the wake of the I-95 collapse. And it’s advice you’d do well to take.

All lanes of I-95 are closed both northbound and southbound between the Aramingo and Woodhaven exits thanks to the collapse of the roadway, an incident Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro characterized as “remarkable devastation” at a Sunday press conference. Remarkably, no motorists driving on I-95 were injured.

Repairs will take months, and it’s unclear exactly what impact the I-95 collapse will have on the city. But for now, officials say to expect big travel delays. These delays are expected to trickle down into areas not immediately surrounding I-95 as drivers use smaller roads to get where they need to go.

The city suggests the following detours:

  • If you’re traveling southbound on I-95, get off at the Woodhaven Road exit and take Route 63 westbound to U.S. 1 South to 76 East to 676 East, picking up I-95 South again near Penn’s Landing.
  • And if you’re traveling northbound on I-95, well, you can probably figure out that you do the same thing in reverse.

Another option is heading into New Jersey and circumventing all of that, taking one of the bridges back across the Delaware River. Of course, you’ll incur a $5 toll for the privilege of using the bridges westbound.

Those detours are really only relevant if you need to access the city itself. But if you’re simply looking to get from, say, New York City to Washington D.C., you can just use the New Jersey Turnpike and not bother with any Philly-area stretches of I-95 at all.

Naturally, SEPTA is bracing for more riders. The transit agency has enacted an emergency response plan that adds capacity to the Fox Chase, West Trenton and Trenton regional rail lines for the next couple of days at least. The city says to expect delays to bus routes. For now, the Philadelphia Parking Authority is allowing commuters to park for free at its parking lots at the Fern Rock, Fox Chase and Torresdale train stations.

The cause of the I-95 collapse was a truck fire beneath the roadway. The truck was reportedly carrying thousands of gallons of gasoline. The driver of that truck, believed to be Nathaniel Moody, was killed in the blaze.

If this all sounds vaguely familiar to you, it’s probably because a Philadelphia section of I-95 collapsed in 1996 due to a massive tire fire not far from the current collapsed portion. That collapse resulted in a road closure that lasted several weeks and partial closures for months as repairs continued.

Boil Your Water!

That’s the admonition the Philadelphia Water Department is giving to some 18,000 West Philadelphia customers who lost water pressure on Sunday afternoon after a pumping station failed. When the water pressure drops, harmful bacteria can find their way into pipes. And if said bacteria finds their way into your gut, well, you can imagine how this could quickly become unpleasant.

An Opinion I Can Agree With

“Goodbye and good riddance to the giant game pieces downtown,” writes Josh Kruger for the Inquirer. Seriously, I couldn’t begin to understand the fuss over their removal.

What Are You Doing This Week?

I’m feeling Thursday night’s Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll. For more info on that and other fun things happening this week, go here.

By the Numbers: The Showbiz Edition

9.1 million: Average number of viewers for each episode of Abbott Elementary‘s second season. That’s up from 8.1 million for the first season.

20: Prospective buyers who engaged in a bidding war for Bradley Cooper’s home in Venice, California.

29: Drive-in movie theaters still in operation in Pennsylvania, home to the oldest continuously operating theater in the country, just a little over an hour from Philly.

$274 million: Box-office take for the third installment of the Creed franchise, now available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video. (It is, surprisingly, a bit of a tearjerker!) The first Creed film “only” made $173 million. Adjusted for inflation, the original Rocky film made $630 million.

And from the Engines-Revvin’ Sports Desk …

Weekend wrap-up! Ranger Suárez started Friday night for the Phils against the Dodgers, and Freddie Freeman got things started in the first with a one-out double; with two outs, J.D. Martinez doubled him home. Starting for the Dodgers was Victor González, who promptly walked Kyle Schwarber. Nick Castellanos and Bryce Harper both grounded out … and L.A. brought in relief pitcher Michael Grove. Wow, the second night in a row that the Phils chased a starter in the early going without … having done anything.

Schwarbs led off the third with a triple. Castellanos struck out, but Harper singled and brought Schwarber in to tie it at 1-1. Suárez easily got through the fourth and fifth, in the bottom of which Edmundo Sosa singled, Schwarber walked, and Castellanos doubled Sosa home. The runners advanced — Schwarbs to home — on a wild pitch; a Trea Turner single brought Castellanos home to make it 4-1. With two outs, Alex Vesia came in for Grove and notched the last out.

Suárez made it through six; Matt Strahm, pitching the seventh, walked Miguel Vargas, got two strikeouts — and gave up a two-run homer to Mookie Betts, then a solo homer to Freeman. Yikes: tied again, 4-4.

Hey, Jose Alvarado was back! Just in time for the eighth, and Martinez’s second double of the night. Stott’s leaping grab of a liner stranded him there. In the bottom half, J.T. was hit by a pitch and stole second, to no avail. To the ninth! It was Gregory Soto in to pitch, and he got it done, one-two-three. And the Phils? What else?

Saturday saw Bobby Miller up against Aaron Nola. In the second, a James Outman double and a Betts single made it 1-0 Dodgers; they tacked on another when Freeman singled Betts home. David Petralta’s solo homer in the fourth made it 3-0, and then it was 4-0 in the seventh on a single, a steal, a walk and another single. Out came Nola for Jeff Hoffman, who plunked Freeman to load the bases with one out, then got W.D. Smith on a grounder that brought a runner home. And a wild pitch scored another, but that was nothing, since J.D. Martinez ripped a three-run homer: 9-0. Hey, at least there was no one on base for Peralta’s subsequent double. Pitching change! Yunior Marte got the third out, finally.

Kody Clemens doubled for the Phils off reliever Andre Jackson in the bottom of the inning, Sosa singled, and … nothin’. Dylan Covey in the eighth got three straight outs, but Jackson had done the same. Was that Clemens on the mound for the ninth? It was! And he got three men in a row. Dad must have been proud. Well, except of that final score: 9-0. During the game, Rob Thomson got his ass thrown out for protesting the fact that ump Bill Miller stopped Nola from getting a new ball twice in a row. L.A. pitched a fit on the radio at the call.

He was still griping about it on Sunday, as Taijuan Walker got the start against opener Caleb Ferguson, leading off a bullpen game for the Dodgers. Ferguson was gone by the second. Again, not because of the Phils, really, though we did pick up one run in the first, on singles by Turner, Castellanos and Harper. L.A. made two pitching changes in the third, as the Phils got two more; Turner doubled, Harper walked, and Stott singled. Meantime, Walker was looking good. So naturally Gregory Soto came in for the sixth and gave up a homer to Freeman on his very first pitch. In the bottom half, after another pitching change, a Stubbs single brought home one more for the Phils.

Seranthony, in for the seventh, gave up a Jason Heyward homer; after one more pitching replacement, a Castellanos homer chipped in two more runs. Harper then singled, Stott tripled, Clemens singled, and it was 7-2. The Dodgers got one back off Alvarado in the eighth, but that’s where it stayed: a 7-3 Phils win. Two out of three against L.A. ain’t bad. They’re in Arizona vs. the Diamondbacks tonight at 9:40, the start of a four-game stand.

And in Doop News …

Oh lordy, San Jose’s Jeremy Ebobisse scored just eight minutes into this one. I hadn’t even poured my wine yet. (Hey, it was a 10:30 West Coast game!) But the Union evened it out at 16 minutes with a Damion Lowe header off a corner.

Man, this was gonna be a wild one. Lowe pulled his hamstring at 24 minutes and left the game, bringing in Jack McGlynn. Julián Carranza got tested for a concussion right on the field a few minutes later after a blow to the top of his head, but he came right back on.

Or maybe not so wild. What followed was 30 more minutes of back-and-forth. After the half, San Jose was pressing much harder, and Miguel Trauco scored on a lovely strike in the 57th minute. The Union had some good chances on a couple of corners in the 89th minute but couldn’t convert them. Too bad; they had a nine-game unbeaten streak going. They’re off now until June 21st.

All Philly Today Sports Desk coverage is provided by Sandy Hingston.