Following the shocking collapse of a portion of I-95, there were some predictions that the road would take months to fully rebuild. Instead, the highway reopened in under two weeks thanks to expert coordination from Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro and plenty of dedicated construction workers who were working on the road nonstop in shifts.
Now, one of those construction workers has gone viral on TikTok for his daily video updates about the construction, and he's as surprised by his sudden internet fame as anyone.
Who is the construction worker going viral on TikTok?
Raul Figuera is the construction worker whose videos are taking TikTok by storm. In the most popular one, he says, "They're saying we can't do this in three days Charise," referring to how quickly the crew was able to build temporary lanes on the interstate.
The video, which is just 15 seconds long in total, has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on the platform, and has more than 10,000 likes as well.
Many of the comments under the video are offering words of encouragement. After all, I-95 is one of the busiest highways in the country, so many regular TikTokers have a vested interest in seeing it fixed as soon as possible.
"Just drove over the patch today. Thank you," one person wrote in the comments under the video.
"THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE! (Now go get that OT!)," another person added.
Raul never expected the video to blow up like it did.
In an interview with ABC6 Action News, Raul said that he never imagined his TikTok would blow up the way it ultimately did. "I was surprised because I did it to have a little bit of fun, and as that went on I couldn't believe it," he said.
Raul documented the entire journey to get the patch done, including the sometimes terrible elements that he and the rest of the overnight crew were forced to work through.
"My squad is amazing!" Raul said of the people he works with. "We got Local 57, 556, 158, 592, you have all the locals out here building this together as a family, getting the bridge built up so everyone can get their lives back together."
The patch was completed on June 23, ahead of schedule, a remarkable feat in an era when it often feels like no project will ever be finished.
"This was a moment of civic pride for Philly and Pennsylvania. We all came together and we proved that we could do big things again in Pennsylvania," Josh Shapiro said at a news conference at the site.
"We show that when we work together, we can get s--- done here in Pennsylvania," the governor added.
Raul was just one small part of the effort required to get the patch up and running so the road could open. Even so, it's nice to get such a wholesome, positive story out of TikTok, filled with people offering words of encouragement and culminating in a fairly happy ending.