The Interstate 95 Bridge in Philadelphia has been down and closed since a fire occurred at the underpass. The I-95 is the East Coast’s main highway going north and south, so the closure (which is in both directions) has had very serious effects on traffic. The governor of the state has been working with the Department of Transportation to get a temporary fix up and running in order to get traffic at least partially back to normal. Thus far they were able to get good work to get the bridge back up and running, but June Gloom has been causing some setbacks. With rain in the forecast for the next week, the construction team had to get creative.
Coming to the rescue for the rebuild is a truck-mounted jet dryer, regularly housed at the Pocono Raceway.
The jet dryer, that normally is meant to keep moisture off the NASCAR racetrack, is going to be put to use in order to expedite the drying process for the asphalt in order to get it dry enough to paint lines on it and get it back up and running quickly.
The idea to use the NASCAR dryer came from the Department of Transportation Secretary, Mike Carroll. Carroll was previously a lawmaker for the state representing a neighboring district to the raceway. Because of his proximity, he was aware of the jet dryer and its power, was able to connect with people at the Pocono racetrack and got them to agree to the use of the dryer to repair the bridge.
To make things even nice, the president of Pocono Raceway is not charging the state for using the dryer, they are simply loaning it to them at no cost. Ben May, the raceway’s president, when asked if he would charge anything to the state said, “Absolutely not.” He called the loan “a very, very, very small contribution to the spectacular work that’s being done by a lot of people.”
They began the repaving process on June 21 and expect the project to take a few days. They will be using the jet dryer to dry the fresh asphalt that is layered right before they need to paint the lines back onto the road. The dryer dries at its expedited rate as it blows 1,400-degree hot air.