LOWER MAKEFIELD, PA – The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission today announced that it will host an early December open house on a series of construction activities to be conducted along I-95 in Lower Makefield Township, PA. next year in advance of the Scudder Falls Bridge Replacement Project.

A significant focus of the public informational session will be noise-abatement walls that the Commission has committed to install along eligible sections of the I-95 corridor on the bridge’s Pennsylvania side. Among other things, residents who attend the open house will be asked to choose from three options for what the residential side of the noise walls should look like. The Commission also will provide information about land-clearing activities to be conducted this winter in advance of the actual noise wall installation work in the spring. (Noise-attenuation measures had been sought by Lower Makefield Township officials and residents during the early stages of project planning.)

The open house is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, December 3, at the William Penn Middle School, 1524 Derbyshire Road, Yardley, PA.

The session will consist of a variety of viewing stations where the public may examine project concepts, renderings and information boards. A member of the project design/engineering team will be stationed at each station to provide explanations and answer questions.A video about the project also will be available for continuous viewing. The video will consist of an introduction about why the current bridge needs to be replaced, a general outline of the bridge replacement project’s major construction elements, and an explanation of how the work will be staged to mitigate commuter travel impacts.

The Pennsylvania-focused open house is expected to include the following displays:

  • Timeline for design and construction
  • Timeline for design and construction
  • Status of advance contracts for Pennsylvania noise-abatement wall corridor clearing and Pennsylvania noise wall construction
  • Design and construction sequencing of the Scudder Falls Replacement Bridge
  • The broad plan of changes for the Taylorsville Road/I-95 interchange in Pennsylvania
  • The proposed layout of a redesigned Route 29/I-95 interchange in New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania noise-abatement wall locations and aesthetic treatment options
  • A status update on the project’s planned environmental-mitigation measures
  • Examples of selected treatment options for the residential-facing sides of the project’s noise-abatement wall installations; attendees can then fill out a short survey to identify what treatment option they prefer for the side of the walls that will face residential properties

The event will be the first in a series of outreach activities the Commission plans to conduct in coming months to reacquaint the public with this important regional transportation project. Future outreach sessions also will enable the Commission to gather public comments on various issues.

The project has been in final design since March. Project preparations have stepped up in recent months with aerial mapping, land surveying, utility line identification, and the collection of extensive ground core samples along the project’s affected I-95 highway corridor in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The Scudder Falls Bridge Replacement Project involves a heavily commuted 4.4-mile portion of the I-95 corridor extending from the Route 332/Yardley-Newtown Road exit in Bucks County, PA. and the Bear Tavern Road/Route 579 exit in Mercer County, N.J. The congestion-prone highway segment is a choke point for job-commuter traffic between Bucks County, PA and Central Jersey.

The nearly 55-year-old bridge and nearby interchanges are classified as functionally obsolete. To address recurring traffic safety and capacity problems at the bridge, its adjoining interchanges and I-95 approaches, the Commission is pursuing a comprehensive project for the highway segment. Project elements include:

  • Replace the existing four-lane Scudder Falls Bridge with a twin-span structure carrying six lanes of through traffic (three in each direction), and three auxiliary lanes (two northbound, one southbound) for traffic merging on and off the bridge.
  • Overhaul the accident-prone Route 29/175 interchange on the New Jersey side.
  • Reconfigure the Taylorsville Road interchange in Lower Makefield, PA. to improve the safety and efficiency of the interchange.
  • Make drainage upgrades and other improvements along the approach highway between the Route 29/175 interchange and Bear Tavern Road in New Jersey.
  • Inside widening of the Pennsylvania I-95 approach between the Route 332 exit and the bridge by adding an additional lane and full shoulders in each direction.
  • Provide a bicycle/pedestrian walkway alongside the main river bridge connecting the recreational canal paths on both sides of the river.
  • Construct full inside and outside shoulders on both replacement bridge spans, a current highway standard requirement. (The bridge’s inside shoulders will be sized to allow for future bus rapid transit service.)
  • Install an all-electronic toll (AET) gantry and related infrastructure in the southbound direction consisting of high-speed E-ZPass tag readers and video cameras for license-plate billing.
  • Construct noise-abatement walls along the approach roadways leading to and from the bridge.
  • Install an all-electronic toll (AET) gantry and related infrastructure in the southbound direction consisting of high-speed E-ZPass tag readers and video cameras for license-plate billing.
  • Construct noise-abatement walls along the approach roadways leading to and from the bridge.

Full construction activities are expected to get underway in early 2017. The project is expected to take up to four years to complete. More precise construction start and end dates will be established as final design progresses toward completion next year.

About the Commission

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission was formed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the State of New Jersey in 1934. It operates seven toll bridges and 13 toll-supported bridges, two of which are pedestrian-only spans. The Commission is a self-supporting public-service agency that receives neither federal nor state tax dollars to finance its projects or operations. Funding for the operations, maintenance and upkeep of its bridges and related transportation facilities is solely derived from revenues collected at its toll bridges. The Commission’s jurisdiction extends along the Delaware River from the Philadelphia-Bucks County line north to the New Jersey/New York border. The bridges carried about 138.2 million cars and trucks in 2014. For more information about the Commission and its various initiatives to deliver safer and more convenient travel for its customers, please see: www.drjtbc.org.

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