Project Overview

Increasing traffic congestion and deficiencies associated with the physical configuration of the bridge and its two adjacent interchanges led to the decision to replace the existing Scudder Falls Bridge with a modern structure featuring the latest design standards. Overall, the project will build 4.4 miles of highway and bridge improvements between the Newtown-Yardley Road/Route 332 Interchange in Pennsylvania and the Bear Tavern Road/County Route 579 Interchange in New Jersey.

Project Information

Main Project Construction Start April 2017
Completed – First span of new bridge opened to traffic Night of July 9, 2019
Completed – Started All-Electronic Tolling (Southbound only) July 14, 2019
Currently underway – Second span of new bridge open to traffic Late summer 2021
All project-related travel impacts to end  Late December 2021
Punch-list Work Ends/Estimated Project Completion Spring 2022

The multi-element project is projected to cost $534 million. This figure represents the all-in cost and includes construction, concept plans, final design, environmental documentation and all other previous and projected expenditures.

The project’s main construction phase began in July 2017 and is expected to proceed over a 4-1/2-year period ending in late 2021.

View details of current and upcoming work.

Construction may impact how you travel. See Travel during Construction for more information.

The Commission’s authority to toll has always been rooted in its Compact, first jointly enacted by the two states in 1934 and ratified by Congress in 1935. That authority has been reaffirmed in court decisions and subsequent changes and expansions to the Compact. The Commission’s ability to charge tolls at the Scudder Falls location stems from provisions added to the Commission’s federal Compact between 1984 and 1987. The Supplemental Agreement to the Compact was approved by Pennsylvania in 1984 and New Jersey in 1985. The U.S. Congress approved the changes April 1, 1987. On December 21, 2009, the Commission unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the agency’s Executive Director to “take all steps necessary to toll the Scudder Falls Replacement Bridge.“ A subsequent 2010 Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) legal opinion confirmed the Commission’s tolling authority at the Scudder Falls location “so long as the bridge is replaced, and the impacts of tolling are considered under NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act).”   (This final stipulation was addressed through the project’s EA Addendum.) In September 2012, the FHWA informed the Commission that a tolling agreement was not required for the replacement bridge under the federal transportation funding law (MAP-21). In December 2009, the Commission voted to establish cashless tolling for the Scudder Falls Replacement Bridge. Tolling at the Scudder Falls Replacement Bridge ensures that its users shoulder the cost burden of the project’s significant transportation-infrastructure and safety improvements.

Learn more about tolling on the new bridge  and view toll rates

Project Elements

New Scudder Falls Bridge

New Scudder Falls Bridge

Replace the current congestion-prone, functionally obsolete Scudder Falls Bridge with a dual-span structure carrying six thru-traffic lanes (three in each direction) and three auxiliary lanes (two Pennsylvania to New Jersey bound, one New Jersey to Pennsylvania bound) for traffic merging onto and off the bridge and shoulders for breakdown/emergency access.

Noise-Abatement Walls

Noise-Abatement Walls

Erect noise-abatement walls where warranted in Pennsylvania and New Jersey as part of the main construction contract beginning in 2017 until project completion in 2021.  Advance noise wall construction along I-295 west of the Taylorsville Road interchange (Exit 10) in Pennsylvania was completed in June 2017.

I-95/I-295 Roadway Improvements

I-95/I-295 Roadway Improvements

Widen the bridge’s Pennsylvania I-295 approach, increasing the roadway to three lanes in each direction. Improve drainage and approach-roadway exit/entry transitions in New Jersey; both project components to be completed in 2021.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Path

Bicycle and Pedestrian Path

Construct a pedestrian/bicycle walkway on the new bridge’s upstream side with ramps and pathways to recreational canal towpaths in Pennsylvania and New Jersey; open for public use in summer 2020.

Interchange Improvements

Interchange Improvements

Reconstruct the entire I-295/Route 29 Interchange (Exit 76) and its associated ramps and structures in Ewing, New Jersey; to be completed summer 2021. Reconfigure the I-295/Taylorsville Road Interchange (Exit 10) in Lower Makefield, PA; to be completed in 2021.

All-Electronic Tolling System

All-Electronic Tolling System

Install an all-electronic tolling (AET) gantry and related infrastructure for highway-speed toll collection using E-ZPass tag readers and high-speed cameras for license-plate billing; tolls collected in the Pennsylvania bound direction only.  This work was completed in summer 2019.  Tolls began July 14, 2019.

New Scudder Falls Toll Bridge & Interchanges Map

Map reflects final configuration of dual bridge, travel and interchanges following project completion in fall 2021

Construction Schedule

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
S1
100%
 
100%
Stage 1 (Completed; Upstream Span Opened July 9, 2019)
Upstream span construction, PA approach widening, flanking interchanges reconfigured; All-Electronic Tolling begins
 
100%
S2
100%
 
100%
Stage 2 (July 2019-August 2021)
Demolition of old bridge, downstream span construction
 
100%
S3
100%
 
100%
Stage 3 (2021)
Both spans completed, new permanent traffic pattern implementation
 
100%
FS
100%
 
100%
Final Stage (2022)
Both spans completed, new permanent traffic pattern implementation

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission will carry out bridge construction while permitting traffic to move across the river at all times, with periodic lane restrictions. To achieve this, project construction is designed to be executed in three major stages.

STAGE ONE: New Bridge Construction (Upstream Span), Pennsylvania Approach Widening, and Reconfigured Interchanges
Construct First New Span
(Completed)
 The current Scudder Falls Bridge remains in service with two travel lanes available respective peak- travel period directions (PA to NJ on weekday mornings and NJ to PA on weekday evenings). Occasional traffic shifts and intermittent off-peak single lane patterns may occur. Bridge closures are not expected to be needed to carry out this 4-1/2 year project.

Major activities in Stage One include:

  • Construct new bridge span immediately upstream of the current bridge
  • Reconstruct the Route 29 Interchange and its associated ramps and structures in Ewing, NJ
  • Reconfigure the Taylorsville Road Interchange in Lower Makefield, PA
  • Widen the bridge’s approach on the PA side, increasing the roadway to three lanes in each direction
  • Install an All-Electronic Tolling (AET) gantry and related infrastructure for highway-speed toll collection
  • Construct the bridge’s walkway (opening will be determined after connecting ramps are constructed later in the project)
  • Once the first span is completed and the AET system is fully tested and operational, all bridge traffic will be shifted to the new upstream span. A temporary barrier will separate opposing lanes of traffic (two in each direction). The new upstream span will carry all traffic in both directions and all-electronic toll collection will begin in the NJ-to-PA direction only.  The old bridge will then be taken out of service.
Completion of first new span: Opened to traffic night of July 9, 2019; tolls began July 14, 2019 in NJ-to-PA direction
  • Once the first span is complete, all traffic will shift to the new upstream span. A temporary barrier will separate opposing lanes of traffic (two in each direction). The new upstream span will be open to traffic and the old bridge will close.
  • Begin collection of tolls with All-Electronic Tolling (PA bound direction only)
STAGE TWO: New Bridge Construction (Downstream Span); Demolition and Removal Of Old Bridge; Complete Interchanges
Demolish old bridge; Construct the second new span:
Summer 2019 to summer 2021
All traffic gets shifted to the new upstream span. Two travel lanes will continue to be maintained in respective peak-travel-period directions (PA to NJ in mornings and NJ to PA in evenings) with occasional traffic shifts and intermittent off-peak single lane patterns. Bridge closures are not expected to be needed to carry out the project.

Major activities in Stage Two include:

  • Demolish and remove the nearly 60-year-old, functionally obsolete Scudder Falls Bridge
  • Construct the new bridge’s second span (downstream span)
  • Improve drainage and approach roadway exit/entry transitions in Ewing, NJ
  • Complete Route 29 Interchange in Ewing, NJ
  • Complete Taylorsville Road Interchange in Lower Makefield, PA
STAGE THREE: Roadwork, Drainage and Transitions In New Jersey
Complete Remaining Project Elements: 2021-2022 After both new spans are completed, another major traffic shift will be implemented. All PA-to-NJ traffic will be transferred to the newly completed downstream bridge. Meanwhile, the upstream bridge will be used to carry only NJ-to-PA traffic with the AET gantry collecting tolls on that span. Traffic will be moved to the outside lanes at both spans, allowing contractor to make final transitional improvements on the approach roadways in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

  • New downstream span completed
  • Both spans open to traffic in outside lanes
  • Remaining roadwork and drainage improvements get completed on the New Jersey side Project completion achieved
  • Final Stage
  • Completed

Distribution Materials

I-295/NJ Route 29 Interchange Downstream Roundabout

An informational graphic of the I-295/NJ Route 29 Interchange Downstream Roundabout highlighting roadway movements and improved safety features.

Scudder Falls Bridge Replacement Project – Fact Sheet

The Scudder Falls Bridge spans the Delaware River, connecting Ewing Township, New Jersey and Lower Makefield Township, Pennsylvania. A comprehensive project is being advanced to replace the current bridge and address other concerns within the immediate I-95 corridor.