LOWER MAKEFIELD, PA – The removal of the old Scudder Falls Bridge’s nearly 60-year-old steel superstructure is poised to enter a new phase next week, requiring daytime closures along a small segment of PA Route 32/River Road on the Pennsylvania side– starting Wednesday, Oct. 2.
Four spans of the old 10-span bridge’s superstructure have already been removed on the New Jersey side of the river. The demolition work has now progressed to the Pennsylvania side, where a land-based span’s steelwork is now undergoing removal.
Next week, the demolition is expected to progress to a second Pennsylvania span that is partially across land and water. To carry out this work, PA Route 32/River Road will need to be closed 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2, to Friday, Oct. 4, between the Woodside Road/River Road intersection in Lower Makefield and the East Afton Avenue/South Delaware Avenue intersection in Yardley. The steel structural members to be removed include main plate girder sections, cross beams, floor beams and stringers. Traffic on I-295 will not be affected by this work.
While bridge demolition is moving steadily, the project contractor is simultaneously advancing preparations on the New Jersey side to construct the new bridge’s second span. (The first completed span of the new Scudder Falls Toll Bridge opened to traffic late at night on July 9.) Work crews have demolished the old bridge’s land-based pier on the New Jersey side. Excavation behind the old bridge’s New Jersey abutment also is underway. Demolition of the old NJ abutment is expected to occur next week.
Meanwhile, out in the river on the New Jersey side, the contractor has erected extensions off a temporary construction platform (a trestle causeway). These will be used for installation of temporary cofferdams where new piers will be constructed to support the new bridge’s second span. Work on the cofferdams could begin as early next week, one in the river and the other on land but close to the river’s edge.
As has been the case for the past two years, a series of travel restrictions will be needed to advance construction activities throughout the 4.4-mile-long project area in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The full schedule of project-related travel restrictions for the week of Sept. 29 is as follows:
- River Road/PA Route 32 – Closure/detour in the vicinity of the Scudder Falls Bridge 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Wednesday, Oct. 2, to Friday, Oct. 4. (CLICK HERE TO VIEW DETOUR MAP). The affected section of Route 32 will be from the intersection of East Afton Avenue/Route 332 and South Delaware Avenue in Yardley to Woodside Road/River Road in Lower Makefield. (Note: the roadway portion between East Afton Avenue/Route 332 and the bridge construction area will be restricted to local traffic only.) ALSO on River Road/PA Route 32 – Possible intermittent traffic stoppages controlled by flaggers 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 30, and Tuesday, Oct. 1.
- I-295 EB approaching the Scudder Falls Toll Bridge and continuing across the bridge to NJ where the designation becomes I-295 SB – Off-peak intermittent single-lane travel – if needed for construction activities – 10 a.m. to 6 a.m. (next day) Monday, Sept. 30, through Friday, Oct. 4.
- I-295 WB (PA-Bound) – Intermittent off-peak single-lane pattern – if needed for construction activities – permitted west of the new Scudder Falls Toll Bridge 7 p.m. to 2 p.m. (next day) Monday, Sept. 30, through Friday, Oct. 4.
- Taylorsville Road north of I-295 – Intermittent single-lane patterns with possible flagger-controlled travel 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30, to Friday, Oct. 4.
- Taylorsville Road south of I-295 – Intermittent single-lane patterns with possible flagger-controlled travel 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30, to Friday, Oct. 4.
- Woodside Road – Intermittent right or left lane closures with passage maintained in each direction and/or flagging-controlled travel 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30, to Friday, Oct. 4.
New Jersey side
- Route 29 NB Bypass Roadway – OVERNIGHT closure with posted detour 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. (next day) Monday, Sept. 30, through Friday, Oct. 4. Detour: Proceed beneath the Scudder Falls Toll Bridge via the roundabouts on both sides of the I-295/Route 29 interchange to reconnect with Route 29 NB toward Washington Crossing and Lambertville.
- Route 29 SB in the vicinity of Scudder Falls Toll Bridge – Intermittent FLAGGER-controlled travel 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30, to Friday, Oct. 4.
- NJ Route 175/River Road Entry Ramp to I-295 SB – 24/7 closure continuing until spring 2021. DETOUR: Use the southern roundabout at the nearby I-295/Route 29 interchange to access the on-ramp for I-295 SB.
- NJ Route 175/River Road in the vicinity of the Scudder Falls Toll Bridge – Intermittent alternating single-lane travel with traffic controlled by flaggers 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30, to Friday, Oct. 4.
- I-295 NB (PA-Bound) – Intermittent off-peak single-lane pattern extending onto the new completed span of the Scudder Falls Toll Bridge 7 p.m. to 2 p.m. (next day) Monday, Sept. 30, through Friday, Oct. 4.
- I-295 SB (NJ-Bound) – Intermittent off-peak single-lane pattern permitted 10 a.m. to 6 a.m. (next day) Monday, Sept. 30, to Friday, Oct. 4.
Other than carry over of any Friday overnight closures into Saturdays, no lane closures are scheduled for the weekends of Sept. 28-29 and Oct. 5-6.
Canal Towpaths in the vicinity of I-295 and the Scudder Falls Toll Bridge
Intermittent closures of the towpaths for the Delaware Canal (Pennsylvania side) and the Delaware & Raritan Canal (New Jersey side) are possible on 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays now through October. Towpaths are open on weekends.
The aforementioned scheduled travel restrictions are subject to change due to weather, emergency, traffic, and equipment/materials mobilization considerations. Motorists are urged to allow extra time to reach their destinations, reduce speeds and exercise caution when travelling through project work areas.