Negligent Bridge Accident on Benjamin Franklin Could Have Been Disastrous
Today, a negligent bridge accident occurred that could have been disastrous and will undoubtedly leave resident even more furious about the construction. Federal inspectors are joining the investigation to discover what went wrong.
Local residents have already expressed frustration about the delays that they are experiencing on the Ben Franklin Bridge. Rush hour commuters who use the PATCO line over the Ben Franklin Bridge will experience half-hour gaps in service for most of the summer, as crews shut down south-side track as part of the effort to replace all six miles of rail over the bridge.
Delaware River Port Authority CEO and PATCO President John Hanson on Thursday addressed a crowd of about two dozen residents at the Collingswood Community Center, many of whom expressed anger with the delays that people are already experiencing.
Part of a construction platform to be installed under the Ben Franklin Bridge fell onto I-95 in Center City Philadelphia this afternoon, striking a vehicle and shutting down traffic.
The negligent bridge accident happened while workers were stringing cable underneath the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Crews had to sort through eight cables to find the right one and then pull it up from the ground. The work is part of a major project to replace the rails for the PATCO high speed line over the bridge. The cables are support for temporary scaffolding.
One of the cables in this bundle came loose around 12:30 this afternoon and clotheslined a passing car when the negligent bridge accident occurred. That car ran into the cable and was spun around on the ramp from I-95 to the Vine Street Expressway, bringing traffic to a standstill for about a half hour as the workers tried to retrieve the dangling cable.
No injuries have been reported in the negligent bridge accident, according to Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) spokeswoman Fran O’Brie. Thankfully, the accident occurred at a time of day where there was a low volume of cars.
The Delaware River Port Authority and the State Police are investigating the negligent bridge accident, and a federal investigator from OSHA was also on the scene this afternoon looking into the situation. The company doing the work is Railroad Construction Company of Pattison New Jersey.