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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 98-882


Proclamation of Disaster Emergency

May 23, 1998

   Whereas, A multi-vehicle accident caused a very large and disastrous fire in the City of Chester, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, on May 23, 1998, resulting in the death of two persons and structural damage of a highway bridge which is part of Interstate 95 and the partial closing of Interstate 95; and

   Whereas, this fire has created serious and emergent disruption to commerce and transportation in the Philadelphia area by severing the established trade and travel patterns for transporting all manner of commercial products and by seriously interfering with the ability of residents to travel from their places of residence to their places of business or other sources of livelihood; and

   Whereas, in addition to the economic aspects of this disaster, there is serious concern for the public safety and well-being of residents located in the immediate vicinity of the damaged bridge; and

   Whereas, it is necessary to take immediate steps to provide for the reopening of Interstate 95 and to repair and reconstruct the bridge and structures associated with the highway; and

   Whereas, Sections 120(e) and 125 of Title 23, U. S. Code have made provision for catastrophes befalling states such as have occurred in the instance.

   Therefore, I, Tom Ridge, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pursuant to the provisions of Subsection 7301(c) of the Emergency Management Services Code (75 Pa.C.S. Section 7101 et seq.) do hereby proclaim an emergency to exist on Interstate 95 in the City of Chester in the location of the fire which occurred today. Immediate repair and reconstruction of Interstate 95 and any related structures and facilities is vital to the security, well-being and health of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the Federal Highway Administrator is hereby requested to concur in the declaration of emergency. In addition, I authorize the Secretary of the Department of Transportation to use all available equipment, resources and personnel of the Department and to dispense with time-consuming bid and contract procedures and formalities, in whatever manner he deems necessary, to insure that the damage to Interstate 95 and related facilities and structures is repaired as expeditiously as possible. I hereby waive any laws or regulations that would restrict the application and use of the Department's equipment, resources and personnel to respond immediately and effectively in repairing, reconstructing or replacing this highway and related facilities, in conducting any detour operations and in undertaking any new construction, as required.

   Given under my hand and the Seal of the Governor, at the City of Harrisburg, this twenty-third day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and ninety-eight and of the Commonwealth the two hundred and twenty-second.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 98-882. Filed for public inspection June 5, 1998, 9:00 a.m.]

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