I-95 rebuild: Gov. Shapiro says interstate will reopen in next 2 weeks as Biden visits site

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro says "with confidence" that Interstate 95 will be back open within the next two weeks as President Biden calls the project the "most important project" during visit to collapse site.

The announcement came after Biden took an aerial tour Saturday of the collapsed stretch of Interstate 95 in Philadelphia and met with first responders and workers involved in rebuilding the critical stretch of highway along the East Coast.

Gov. Shapiro, Sens. Bob Casey and John Fetterman, Rep. Brendan Boyle and Mayor Jim Kenney all joined Biden the presidential Marine One helicopter before providing on rebuilding I-95 update at Philadelphia International Airport.

"We are with you, and we will stay with you until build the finished… there's no more important project right now in the country as far as I'm concerned," Biden said.

His visit came nearly a week after the interstate collapsed as crews continue to work around the clock to repair the damage to the critical roadway in a plan outlined by officials last week. 

RELATED COVERAGE: I-95 collapse: Live camera shows real-time progress of interstate reconstruction

The missing area is currently being backfilled with a recycled glass aggregate, and will be paved to allow motorists to return to the road while a separate bridge is built. 

No timeline was provided with the plan last week, however, Gov. Shapiro announced Saturday that the reopening of I-95 will happen within the next two weeks.

"I can state with confidence we will have I-95 open within the next two weeks," Shapiro said.

No update was provided on end date for the final project, but an ease in traffic is finally on the horizon for Philadelphia travelers who have experience the brunt of the shut-down over the past week.

RELATED COVERAGE: I-95 collapse: Some local businesses feel negative impact of new traffic patterns as I-95 is rebuilt

Biden and Shaprio both discussed additional resources being sent to Philadelphia to help expedite the rebuild, and cover cost of union workers - 100 percent for the next 200 days, followed by 90 percent.

"I grew up not very far from here, I know how important this is," Biden said.

The White House said Biden’s movements in the city on Saturday would not interfere with traffic around I-95, its detour routes or reconstruction efforts.

"President Biden has instructed his team to move heaven and earth and work around the clock to ensure the fastest possible reconstruction of the highway," Olivia Dalton, the White House principal deputy press secretary, said Friday.

The stretch of the East Coast’s main north-south highway collapsed early last Sunday after a tractor-trailer hauling gasoline flipped over on an off-ramp and caught fire. State transportation officials said the driver was trying to navigate a curve and lost control.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who visited the area Tuesday, promised that the federal government would provide the needed assistance to repair the destruction, although he warned that the wreckage will likely raise the cost of consumer goods because truckers must now travel longer routes. It could take weeks, if not more, to repair the area.

The Associated Press Contributed to this story.