NEW HOPE, PA – The public still has one week left — until February 4 — to provide comments on the 561-page Environmental Assessment document for the I-95/Scudder Falls Bridge Improvement Project, the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission announced today.

The Commission distributed the EA for public review and comment on December 9.  The document is a detailed study of the project’s Preferred Alternative, other design alternatives, and their potential impacts on the environment and local communities, as well as the Commission’s mitigation efforts.  Residents, motorists or other interested parties can review the document on the project Web site at www.scudderfallsbridge.com.

A public hearing on the document was held at two different locations on two separate dates earlier this month – on January 19 in Ewing, N.J. and the other on January 20 in Langhorne, Pa.

Organizations and members of the public may still provide comment on the project and EA document until the close of business on Thursday, February 4.

Motorists, residents, and other concerned parties who wish to provide comment may utilize one of the following options:

  • E-mail – ScudderfallsbridgeEAcomments@hntb.com
  • S. Mail – Send to Kevin Skeels, Senior Program Area Manager, DRJTBC, 110 Wood and Grove Streets, Morrisville, PA 19067. (Letters must be postmarked no later than February 4, 2010.)

The close of the comment period on the Environmental Assessment (EA)/Draft Section 4(f) Evaluation document will be the next major step in a planning and review process that began in January 2003 with the signing of a project memorandum of agreement (MOA) by the Commission and the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Departments of Transportation.   The MOA authorized the Commission to conduct environmental studies and preliminary designs to address congestion and safety problems at the bridge.

The project area extends 4.4 miles along I-95 – from the Route 332 interchange in Bucks County, Pa. to Bear Tavern Road in Mercer County, N.J.  The work is to include a complete replacement of the existing four-lane Scudder Falls Bridge over the Delaware River. Project elements also would include 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 the highway on the Pennsylvania side of the bridge.

Other major components of the project include:

  • Widening of I-95 from the Route 332 exit in Pennsylvania to the bridge by adding an additional lane in each direction (widening to the inside of the highway).
  • Reconfiguration of the I-95/Taylorsville Road Interchange in Lower Makefield Twp., Pa. by eliminating the existing eastern southbound off-ramp from I-95 and combining it with the existing western southbound off-ramp.
  • Reconstruct and reconfigure the Route 29 interchange through the use of roundabouts. This option would avoid traffic signals, resulting in a folded diamond interchange with two roundabout intersections at the ramps with I-95.
  • Potential addition of a bicycle and pedestrian facility on the southbound side of the bridge is being considered; a decision will be made during final design, when costs are refined and cost reasonableness can be determined.
  • $7.5 million of noise-abatement walls along the approach roadways leading to and from the bridge.

The easiest way for area residents, motorists or other interested parties to review the document is to go to the Web site – www.scudderfallsbridge.com– the Commission created in October 2003 to keep the public informed of project developments.

The Environmental Assessment (EA) the Commission prepared for the project underwent extensive review by the departments of transportation in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The document also was reviewed by federal and state environmental resource and regulatory agencies with regard to project findings, assessments and mitigation for a number of environmental considerations within the project limits including historical and archeological resources, threatened and endangered species, and wetlands, among others.

The FHWA was the agency ultimately responsible for reviewing the EA and determining acceptability so that it may be distributed for public examination and comment during a comment period that would include an Open House/Public Hearing.

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’s jurisdiction extends along the Delaware River from the Philadelphia-Bucks County line north to the New Jersey/New York border.  Its bridges carried more than 140 million cars and trucks in 2008. For more information about the Commission and its various initiatives to deliver safer and more convenient bridge travel for its customers, please see: www.drjtbc.org.

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