The state Department of Transportation is preparing to demolish the northbound Interstate 81 ramp to westbound Route 22-322 after it was damaged by fire last week.

Engineers and a construction crew are taking samples of the concrete deck and steel girder that form the superstructure of the ramp. The samples will be sent to laboratories for analysis to help determine PennDOT's next steps, spokesman Greg Penny said in a news release.

"Although PennDOT has already concluded that the deck of the ramp must be replaced, it has not yet determined if the superstructure must be replaced as well or what type of repairs may be necessary," Penny said.

Demolition of the deck is expected to get underway within the next several days. PennDOT will also analyze the extent of damage to the bridge piers that carried the eastbound Route 22 bridge over I-81, he said.

What happened: Thomas Uecker, 52, of Dover, was hauling 7,500 gallons of diesel fuel when the tanker he was driving overturned a little after 6 a.m. on May 9 and burst into flames.

The crash happened on an on-ramp to Route 22-322, where the ramp curls back over the interstate and runs under another section of Route 22-322.

Flames licked the bottom of the overhead portion and officials said intense heat from the blaze buckled its steel beams and damaged it so badly there were fears it could collapse and fall onto I-81.

Damage could exceed $10 million, state officials had said.

On Tuesday, PennDOT received word that the U.S. Department of Transportation announced the quick release of $2 million in emergency relief funds to help pay for the efforts over the past week to reopen I-81.

Demolished: Earlier this week construction crews demolished the eastbound Route 22 bridge over the I-81.

The bridge removal allowed state officials to reopen I-81.

Route 22 also reopened to traffic earlier this week when a contractor built median crossovers to carry eastbound traffic into a westbound lane. That is allowing traffic to use the westbound bridge over I-81 before being diverted back to the eastbound lanes, Penny had said.

Engineers and construction personnel are currently taking samples of the concrete deck and steel girders that form the superstructure of the ramp. These samples are being sent to laboratories for analysis to help determine PennDOT's next steps. Preparations are underway for the demolition of the closed ramp from northbound Interstate 81 to westbound Route 22/322. The ramp has been closed since May 9 when a fiery tanker crash severely damaged it. Although PennDOT has already concluded that the deck of the ramp must be replaced, it has not yet determined if the superstructure must be replaced as well or what type of repairs may be necessary. Demolition of the deck is anticipated to begin within the next several days. PennDOT will also analyze the extent of damage to the bridge piers that carried the eastbound Route 22 bridge over I-81. On Tuesday, PennDOT received news that the U.S. Department of Transportation announced the quick release of $2 million in emergency relief funds to help pay for the efforts over the past week to reopen I-81.