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Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg Visits Site of I95 Bridge Collapse, Warns of Supply Chain Crisis

Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg Visits Site of I95 Bridge Collapse, Warns of Supply Chain Crisis

If Buttigieg manages this crisis as well as the chemical disaster in Ohio, the region’s supply chain will be in a world of hurt for quite some time.

There has been another spectacular transportation incident under the watch of the Biden administration. A bridge on I-95 in Northeast Philadelphia collapsed this weekend after a tanker truck carrying gasoline burst into flames beneath it.

Within days, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg headed to the site and promised to help repair the East Coast’s main north-south highway. Another supply-chain crisis may be looming as a result of this accident.

Speaking near the site where an out-of-control tractor-trailer hauling gasoline flipped over on an Interstate 95 off-ramp and caught fire, Buttigieg said he expected that disruptions in trucking routes will put “upward pressure” on shipping costs along the East Coast.

Buttigieg toured the site and then, over the sounds of heavy machinery and demolition, told reporters that “every resource that is needed will be made available” to help Pennsylvania repair the bridge as quickly and safely as possible.

But the collapse is snarling traffic in Philadelphia as the summer travel season starts, upending hundreds of thousands of morning commutes, disrupting countless businesses and forcing trucking companies to find different routes.

Pennsylvania’s leaders joined a congressional delegation on a tour of the damage and assessed the impact’s magnitude on the region. Many are hoping for help from Senator John Fetterman.

“This is a critical roadway, not just for Northeast Philadelphia, not just for the Philadelphia region,” Rep. Brendan Boyle said, “but for the entire mid-Atlantic.”

Boyle and Sen. Bob Casey both say they’ve spoken with President Joe Biden about the collapse and the urgent need for federal funding.

“I know that I and Sen. [John] Fetterman and our entire congressional delegation will be focused on getting those dollars that are needed to make sure that I-95 is rebuilt,” Casey said.

The Federal Highway Administration has also been involved in the aftermath of the collapse. The FHWA’s focus is redirecting tractor-trailers transporting goods and food while trying to ward off economic issues along the way.

“It’s a vital freight issue,” FHWA administrator Shailen Bhatt said, “and supply chain is something we’ve been very focused on. There’s 160,000 vehicles that are using that; 8% is trucks.”

An interesting aspect of Buttigieg’s appearance is that he was pressed why he was so quick to respond to this incident, as opposed to taking weeks to assess East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment-chemical release disaster.

Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was pressed Tuesday by a reporter on why he visited the I-95 collapse site so quickly compared to his delay in visiting the train derailment site in East Palestine, Ohio.

It took Buttigieg about two weeks to go to East Palestine to the site of a chemical spill after a train derailment on Feb. 3 and only took a couple of days to travel to Philadelphia to see the I-95 collapse site. A tanker truck caught fire, leading to a partial collapse of the major interstate June 11.

“When I went, I decided to break from the precedent, the norm that generally transportation secretaries don’t go to active response sites. But, part of what I found was important, especially when you saw all of the politicization and misinformation that the people of East Palestine had to deal with, is that we’re just in a new world in terms of the importance of presence to help make sure everyone understands what’s happening, the coordination that’s happening, the teamwork that’s happening,” Buttigieg said.

If Buttigieg manages this crisis as well as the one in Ohio, the region’s supply chain will be in a world of hurt for quite some time.


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E Howard Hunt | June 15, 2023 at 9:20 am

Pete is certainly the man for rerouting the natural flow of traffic.

    Thad Jarvis in reply to E Howard Hunt. | June 15, 2023 at 12:46 pm

    Oh look, the village idiot makes another homosexual joke and waits for affirmation and admiration from his eye rolling audience. Pathetic.

      E Howard Hunt in reply to Thad Jarvis. | June 15, 2023 at 1:07 pm

      Thad, don’t be so angry. Remember, this is your special month to be proud. 🥰

      artichoke in reply to Thad Jarvis. | June 15, 2023 at 2:27 pm

      I didn’t notice until you pointed it out, thanks. I really don’t think much about that stuff, except for all the “pride” and “awareness” and “visibility” stuff that makes me think about it. But a warning: thinking more about it doesn’t make me more accepting of it. I can ignore it, or hate it, those are your choices.

The Over Pass on I-95 is closed. But the road is not closed. There is a detour. Takes an extra hour to go around. An extra hour of transit time may cause a supply chain crisis.

Thad Jarvis | June 15, 2023 at 9:58 am

Petey and our incompetent drunk mayor Jim Kenney have combined salaries around half a million dollars. The poor trucker who was incinerated doing a job that actually provides a service to humanity probably earned about 38 cents a mile.

    MattMusson in reply to Thad Jarvis. | June 15, 2023 at 10:55 am

    Pete has a firm grasp of the obvious.

    E Howard Hunt in reply to Thad Jarvis. | June 15, 2023 at 11:13 am

    This confirms my suspicion that you are a jealous, ignorant loser in a dead end job. No offense to the truck driver, but a combined salary of $500,000 between two high level position holders is chicken feed. Most similarly situated people in the private sector earn around $1,000,000 a year, each. It’s the men, not their salaries that are the problem. You don’t seem to realize that the vitriol you spew exposes your shame, self-hatred and total failure in every sphere of life. 🥰

      BoboPhat in reply to E Howard Hunt. | June 15, 2023 at 12:15 pm

      ^ That response seems very strange given the actual content of the original message.

      Thad Jarvis in reply to E Howard Hunt. | June 15, 2023 at 12:45 pm

      You’re such a pathetic loser, with your idiotic gay jokes and your entire persona, you lowlife. You completely miss the point while you’re defending bureaucrats instead of acknowledging the working class laborer doing a job that requires risk and physical acumen while also adhering to the red tape and rules put out by the hacks like Kenny and Butt-gig. But that’s cool – keep reaching for straws, you gutless twerp. Maybe someone someday will laugh at one of your sad attempts at edgy humor.

Biden’s Secretary of Trans/portation and a party of two men and a womb.

This is really a problem for Philadelphia.

The North-South traffic can go on parallel routes through New Jersey and Delaware

    JackinSilverSpring in reply to Neo. | June 15, 2023 at 10:42 am

    Thats what I think as well. There are two parallel roads in NJ to I-95. One is the NJ Turnpike and the other is I-295. So if you’re going north, you re-route on those roads. BTW the NJ Tpk. is designated as I-95 north of some exit, which I don’t recall.

    artichoke in reply to Neo. | June 15, 2023 at 2:25 pm

    Hence, probably why Buttigieg is in such an over-hurry to reopen I95 that he’ll build a rock dam over former Cottman Ave. and I95 over that. He doesn’t want semi-rural NJ to take business from the city.

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to Neo. | June 15, 2023 at 3:04 pm

    “Why would I want to go through New Jersey?”

    “Well, we don’t want to stop there…”

I think the cart is in front of the horse. I would think the very FIRST thing Buttigieg must do is investigate the bridge itself, to determine if the bridge is racist or a symbol of white oppression. Otherwise, he may be approving construction of, yet another, white supremacist bridge! If the bridge is rebuilt, I would hope that Buttigieg requires the work be performed by a Black drag-queen-owned construction business.

    MajorWood in reply to Q. | June 15, 2023 at 11:56 am

    That underpass clearly blocked black people from visiting the beach, or sumptin. It had to go.

    nordic prince in reply to Q. | June 15, 2023 at 1:55 pm

    Well, engineering itself is racist, because math and science.

    Gotta build bridges based on muh feelz.

How does bootygig (no, I don’t know how to spell his name and I can’t be bothered to care) find time to do anything? The guy is a symbol of failure and deviance that is a full-time job.

…. warns that aborting the pipeline will increase rail traffic and forward-looking risk.

Just convert the overpass to a roundabout.

So from watching the news video, I think they’re going to fill it all up with rock and pave over that, and open I-95 on that new ground. That means Cottman Ave. will be totally blocked there. Then they’ll work on replacing the pile of rocks with a bridge, while simultaneously having 6 lanes of traffic open at all times.

Seems like a lot of extra trouble. Why couldn’t they just do the bridge right, once? Bridge is mostly metal and can be shipped in and assembled. It will take vastly longer and cost much more to get all done this way.

But Buttigieg can say traffic was reopened quicker.

It’s not a totally necessary piece of roadway. There are several alternates over in NJ (I 295 / NJTP / US 130) and a bridge to NJ nearby (Tacony section of Phila. so Tacony-Palmyra bridge must be close to there) so why such an overcomplicated solution to save a few days?

All we wanted from Pete was solid competent performance, not grandstanding and excitement and underperformance.

    txvet2 in reply to artichoke. | June 15, 2023 at 5:12 pm

    Looks like Cottman Ave at I-95 is essentially just an exit ramp from I-95, so the impact won’t be that much – just closure of one ramp, mostly local impact after I-95 is repaired.

henrybowman | June 15, 2023 at 3:52 pm

“Many are hoping for help from Senator John Fetterman.”
Leslie, check back tonight to see if you won the Internet today.

I think that warning is Pete telegraphing his intentions. Biden’s handlers want chaos.

Given its Pennsylvania in general, Philadelphia specific it probably take several years to fix

    diver64 in reply to ronk. | June 15, 2023 at 6:21 pm

    I’m sure that after Union Payoffs, delays and rebidding including cost overruns it will get done at the speed of the Chicago Beltway to the standards of The Big Dig in Boston.

Grip yourself. I’ve run that stretch many times and there will be no supply chain shortage because few trucks use it. Just scare mongering by Butt Plug &Crew.

healthguyfsu | June 15, 2023 at 7:37 pm

“the norm that generally transportation secretaries don’t go to active response sites.”

The DC official line for weeks was that it wasn’t a big deal. Liars caught again.

It’s a straight shot of ~120 miles straight up I-95 from DC to Philly. Yet it took Buttigieg 7 days to find his way there.

Buttigieg said he met with first responders as well as state and local officials to hear updates about efforts to reconstruct the roadway.

He didn’t speak to “first responders” as they left about 6 days ago.

Pete Buttigieg does not know a crisis from a soiled diaper. He is an embarrassment but not unusual in the Biden administration.