The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission (DRJTBC) is making preparations for the largest capital improvement project in its history: the I-95/Scudder Falls Bridge Improvement Project.
Under a Memorandum of Agreement that the DRJTBC entered into with the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) in January 2003, the project's limits are I-95 from PA Route 332 in Bucks County, Pa. to Bear Tavern Road in Mercer County, N.J.
Over the past eight years, the DRJTBC has worked with a consultant team of engineers, planners, environmental scientists, and other specialists to prepare an Environmental Assessment/Draft Section 4(f) Evaluation (EA/Draft 4(f)) for the project. The EA/Draft 4(f) is a detailed study of the project's Preferred Alternative, other design alternatives, and their potential impacts on the environment and local communities. The EA/Draft 4(f) document was made available for public review in December 2009 and the Commission held an Open House/Public Hearing for the project in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in January 2010. The public comment period for the EA/Draft 4(f) ended on February 4, 2010.
The EA/Draft 4(f) document circulated in December 2009 predated a decision about the bicycle/pedestrian facility and the tolling of the Scudder Falls Bridge. DRJTBC prepared an Addendum to the Environmental Assessment that includes the decisions to build the bicycle/pedestrian facility and to toll the new bridge. The EA Addendum was submitted to FHWA, PennDOT and NJDOT for review on January 7, 2011 and the multi-agency review is complete. A Public Hearing for the EA Addendum was held on Thursday, December 15, 2011 at the Sheraton Bucks County Hotel in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. A summary of the responses to written and verbal comments by the public on the Environmental Assessment appears in Appendix H of the EA Addendum.
The Preferred Alternative presented in the EA/Draft 4(f) includes a completely new, larger Scudder Falls Bridge and the reconfiguration of the Taylorsville Road Interchange and the reconstruction and reconfiguration of the Route 29 interchange through the use of roundabouts. The project also includes an inside widening of I-95 in Pennsylvania in the project area. A pedestrian/bicycle path will be built as part of the construction of the Scudder Falls Bridge. The Commission's 2011 Capital Budget estimated that it will cost $322 million for the improvements to the Scudder Falls Bridge, I-95 and the interchanges within the project limits. The cost also includes the installation of a walkway for pedestrians and bicyclists, serving as a link between the two canal paths on both sides of the Delaware River.
Tolling the New Bridge
The DRJTBC's Commissioners voted unanimously at their December 2009 meeting to establish tolling at the replacement Scudder Fall Bridge. Tolls will be implemented on or adjacent to the bridge, and will be collected in the southbound direction using an all-electronic cashless tolling system. The Commission felt that it was obliged to issue its tolling decision after assessing its overall capital program needs, and - most notably - the unlikelihood of securing sufficient project funding assistance from the federal and state governments. The Commission's sole source of revenue is the tolls that it collects at its toll bridges.
In 2010 the DRJTBC commissioned a study to understand the potential impacts of traffic diversions on the local roadways and adjacent river crossings once tolls are implemented. The study concluded that the traffic diversions resulting from the tolling of the new Scudder Falls Bridge will cause minimal impacts to local roadways and bridges.
In July 2010, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced a plan to have the I-95/Scudder Falls Bridge project built under the nation's first multi-state Public Private Partnership or P3. In August 2010, the Commission issued a request for proposals (RFP) seeking financial and legal advisory services to assist the agency with the potential procurement of a P3 to carry out the Scudder Falls Bridge Improvement Project. Proposals were received from ten (10) P3 financial/legal advisory services and in late August 2011, the Commission retained KPMG/Nossaman-LLP. The consultants were tasked with providing the Commission with analysis, background and other information to assist the Commissioners with making a "Go/No Go" decision on whether to move forward in delivering the project as a P3. The draft report is currently under review by the Commission.
Anticipated Project Schedule
FHWA issued a NEPA decision and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the project on June 14, 2012. Construction could begin in late 2015. However, the start of construction could be affected if the DRJTBC decides to carry out the project as a Public Private Partnership (P3), which is being assessed. The public is encouraged to visit this website for the most current information about the I-95/Scudder Falls Bridge Improvement Project.
This web site was last updated: November 2013.Project Status Update
This project is sponsored by:
Joint Toll Bridge
This project is being done in cooperation with:
For questions or more information
about the project, please call the
Project Information Line at 800-879-0849.
you would like to speak with someone about the
I-95/Scudder Falls Bridge Improvement Project, please contact:
Kevin Skeels, PE
Director of Community Affairs
Richard Rash, P.E.
Christine Bishop-Edkins, AICP
Manager, Public Participation