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I-95 collapse: Delco company helping build temporary roadway

Delaware County company providing material to build temporary roadway after I-95 collapse
Delaware County company providing material to build temporary roadway after I-95 collapse 02:26

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The portion of I-95 that collapsed in Philadelphia will be replaced with a temporary roadway until a permanent road is completed. The material being used to backfill the gap is made in Delaware County.

Pennsylvania State Police will begin to escort up to 50 truckloads of recycled glass material on Thursday from a Delaware County manufacturing plant 25 miles north to I-95 in Tacony to start temporarily rebuilding the damaged bridge.

During a news conference on Wednesday, officials announced the portion of I-95 that collapsed early Sunday morning will be replaced with a temporary roadway with three lanes in each direction while a permanent bridge is constructed around it.

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro says the gap near Cottman Avenue will be filled with a specially engineered recycled glass foam aggregate.

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"That's the fill they're going to use to basically build up the ground behind me to the surface level of I-95, so then they can lay the payment," Shapiro said.

A piece of the specially engineered recycled glass foam aggregate being used to build a temporary roadway after I-95 collapsed. 

More than two tons of ultra-light rock-resembling aggregates are produced from recycled bottles and jars that have been ground into a powder and heated to produce a very small but strong foundation material.

"We're 85% lighter than a traditional quarried aggregate and where we are used a lot are highway embankments," Archie Filshill, CEO at Aero Aggregates of North America, said.

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Chopper 3 flew over the stockpiles at Delaware County-based Aero Aggregates. Filshill says the technology has been widely used in Europe for more than three decades and is critical for this scenario because of weight limits in the affected area.

"There is an 86-inch sewer line that runs along Cottman Avenue, so if they brought 20 feet of fill in that would be too much weight on top of that utility," Filshill said.

Stockpiles at Delaware County-based Aero Aggregates

Filshill says being local and getting the call to help on this project was a full-circle moment for his team.

"I'm from Philadelphia, so to be able to do such a major repair like this and the fact that we know that using our material it's going to get down so much faster it's a great feeling," Filshill said.

While there is no definite estimate as to when the temporary lanes will be ready, crews will continue to work around the clock to get it reopened.

A livestream is also being set up so the public can watch the rebuild happen in real time.

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