The closure of a portion of I-95 in Philadelphia following the fiery bridge collapse on June 11 could affect an estimated 21 million tons of freight worth $104 billion carried by trucks in 2021 to the north and south of the region, according to figures from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).
Ranked by weight, the top three goods most affected by an estimated weeks-long closure of the interstate will be:
The rest of the top 10 freight types by weight crossing that roadway would be: meat & seafood, plastics & rubber, waste & scrap, motorized vehicles, pharmaceuticals, newsprint & paper, and chemical products.
However, the same list looks different when ranked by value. The top three most valuable goods moving along the I-95 corridor through Philadelphia that could be delayed include:
The remainder of the top 10 freight types by value include: machinery, mixed freight, textiles & leather, plastic & rubber, miscellaneous manufactured products, chemical products, and meat & seafood.
BTS said it produced these tables using the Freight Analysis Framework (FAF), a comprehensive picture of freight movement to, from, and within the United States by all modes of transportation. The FAF estimated freight flows among 132 domestic regions plus exports to and imports from 8 foreign regions. BTS combined FAF regions to the north and south of Philadelphia to estimate the volume and value of freight moving through the Philadelphia region on the I-95 corridor.
According to the BTS, the bridge collapse occurred in a part of the highway network that offers major alternative routes for truckers. Freight can travel around Philadelphia on the New Jersey Turnpike and I-295 without significant additions to distances traveled, the government said. The greater disruption will be seen in local freight movements between central Philadelphia its northeastern suburbs such as Bucks County, as displaced traffic from I-95 to I-295 and the New Jersey Turnpike may cause increased congestion and affect travel times of trucks, BTS said.