LOWER MAKEFIELD, PA – A variety of field activities are expected to get underway in coming days for the impending installation of noise abatement walls along the Pennsylvania I-95 approach to the Scudder Falls Bridge, the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission announced today.
Pre-construction field activities will consist of construction layout/surveying, initial sign placements, installation of access measures for designated noise wall areas, and grubbing and stump removal in areas cleared of trees under a prior contract. These activities are expected to be carried out over the next 21/2 weeks. If all goes according to schedule, the contractor would then be in a position to begin setting noise-wall foundations along I-95 after the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
The advance noise wall contract for the Scudder Falls Bridge Replacement Project involves the construction of six sections of noise walls along I-95 northbound and southbound between the I-95/PA State Route 332 Interchange and the I-95/Taylorsville Road Interchange. The noise walls will have an approximate total length of 12,500 feet. The advance contract also includes the installation of a new Peregrine Falcon Shelter in the vicinity of the bridge and the installation of bird deterrents beneath the current Scudder Falls Bridge.
A series of shoulder closures and off-peak single-lane closures will be needed along I-95 to allow for workzone setup and eventual construction activities. Two-lane travel is to be maintained during all peak commuter travel periods.
The construction contract for the project was awarded in May to PKF-Mark III, Inc. of Newtown, PA. The Commission issued the contractor a “notice to proceed” on June 10. The contractor is expected to begin mobilizing equipment and personnel today, June 15.
Noise walls are already in place along a significant portion of the project area in New Jersey. Additional noise walls in Pennsylvania and New Jersey will be constructed in the vicinity of the Scudder Falls Replacement Bridge as part of that multi-faceted project contract.
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 interchange (exit 49) in Bucks County, PA. and the Bear Tavern Road/Route 579 interchange (exit 2) 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.
The project’s final design stage is expected to reach completion during late summer/early fall. Once construction gets fully underway in early 2017, it’s expected that it will take up to four years to complete all of the project’s elements. More precise construction start and end dates will be established after final design is completed.