Skelly and Loy Provides Environmental Services to PennDOT After I-81 Truck Fire

When a tanker truck carrying 7,500 gallons of diesel fuel overturned on the ramp from northbound I-81 to westbound Route 22/322 and burst into flames in the early morning of May 9, it was clear that there were would be much bigger concerns beyond the resulting traffic congestion that day.

PennDOT quickly determined that the integrity of the steel beams of the eastbound Route 22 bridge immediately above the fire had been compromised and that this section of the bridge would have to be removed. PennDOT brought on Skelly and Loy the next day to provide environmental oversight of demolition activities and to collect, prepare, and transport concrete and asphalt samples from the site to specialized environmental testing laboratories in the New Jersey and Pittsburgh areas.

The rapid response and turnaround was needed to ensure that there were no asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in the bridge decking before construction crews could begin to remove the damaged section. The laboratory results indicated that there were no ACMs and that the material could be reused as clean fill. Skelly and Loy helped to prepare the permit for clean fill reuse.

Skelly and Loy personnel were on-site beginning at 7 p.m. Friday, May 10, until 2 p.m. Monday, May 13, to provide demolition oversight and technical guidance, including constant monitoring and screening of soils beneath the bridge to address environmental impacts from the fuel spill or from bridge debris.

This quick response by the Skelly and Loy team allowed PennDOT to expedite demolition and shorten the time required for an interstate detour that snarled traffic throughout the Capital Region, while protecting the environment and assuring the safety of workers at the site.

Skelly and Loy will continue to provide environmental services to PennDOT throughout the bridge reconstruction and roadway repair, including continuous soil sampling, reviewing others’ sampling plans and reports, and providing guidance to contractors.

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