I-95 Rebuild Is Being ‘Powered by Pennsylvania Companies,’ Shapiro Says

Gov. Josh Shapiro shaking hands with workers at High Steel Structures in Lancaster, PA on Aug. 7, 2023. (Photo: Commonwealth Media Services)

By Sean Kitchen

August 8, 2023

Gov. Josh Shapiro visited High Steel Structures in Lancaster on Monday to highlight how the rebuilding of I-95 is being completed with Pennsylvania labor and materials. The steel company is forging 16 steel girders for the collapsed overpass.

From start to finish, the rebuild of the collapsed portion of Interstate 95 in Northeast Philadelphia will be completed with labor and materials made in Pennsylvania.

“Just like the repair, the overpass will be Pennsylvania made,” Gov. Josh Shapiro said while visiting High Steel Structures in Lancaster on Monday.

The steel manufacturing company is in charge of forging 16 steel girders with steel sourced from the Cleveland Cliffs facility in Coatesville, and those girders will be used to build the new overpass at the collapsed portion of I-95.

According to Shapiro, the company is expected to finish manufacturing the girders in just two months, when a job on this scale can often take six to nine months.

“From top to bottom, the I-95 repair has been powered by Pennsylvania companies and Pennsylvania workers, including High Steel Industries and the workers here, who are forging that steel into 16 girders that will serve as the backbone of the permanent structure,” said Shapiro.

High Steel Structures joins the list of Pennsylvania-based companies involved in the rebuilding of I-95. Aero Aggregates based in Delaware County gained notoriety for supplying the glass fill material construction workers used to build a temporary bridge that reopened the highway in under two weeks.

Shapiro also used the opportunity to highlight investments his first budget made in economic development and workforce development.

The budget includes $23.5 million for workforce training and vocational tech programs and an additional $6 million for apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programming. It also includes a $1 million increase for the Manufacturing PA Innovation Program, which connects Pennsylvania’s universities with businesses to help innovation and job creation in Pennsylvania.

Shapiro also signed an executive order last month creating the Commonwealth Workforce Transformation Program, which uses funds from President Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act to train Pennsylvania workers for critical infrastructure projects.

The program will allow organizations to collect up to $40,000 for each new employee trained and hired in Pennsylvania. The grants can also be used to cover the cost of apprenticeship programs, costs associated with using training facilities, and costs associated with establishing a training program.

“We can build big things again in the commonwealth, but we gotta invest. Invest in our workers, invest in the materials and invest in our own competitiveness.”

 

Author

  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

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