LOWER MAKEFIELD, PA – The noise abatement walls to be installed along warranted portions of the Pennsylvania I-95 approach to the Scudder Falls Bridge will have a grey fractured rock design on the residential side, the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission announced today.
The grey fractured rock style was the overwhelming choice of residents who participated in a survey the Commission conducted late last year to provide guidance on what design and color treatments were preferred by the Lower Makefield residents who own properties where noise walls are to be installed as part of the Scudder Falls Bridge Replacement Project.
The Pennsylvania Noise Wall Survey was a key element of an informational public open house the Commission hosted at a Yardley school auditorium in December. The survey asked residents to choose from three architectural treatment options — ashlar stone, fractured rock, and brick – and three color options – tan, brown, grey. (No color choice applied if a respondent’s preference was brick.) To maximize participation in the survey, the Commission extended the survey submission deadline to December 31.
About 100 people participated in the survey. Fractured rock was preferred by slightly more that 55 percent of respondents, followed by ashlar stone at 33 percent and brick by 12 percent. The grey color option was favored by 46 percent of individuals who indicated a color preference, with tan chosen by 30 percent and brown by 24 percent.
Noise abatement walls were determined to be warranted along certain sections of I-95 in Lower Makefield based on collected noise measurements and analysis performed by the Commission’s project consultants to predict future noise levels. The readings and forecasts in those areas exceed prevailing noise-mitigation thresholds established by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).
Tree and brush clearing activities for designated noise wall areas along I-95 between the Taylorsville Road interchange (exits 51A-B) and Route 332 interchange (exit 49) began in mid-January and ended March 31. The preparatory work was timed for the winter months so it would not interfere with an annual tree-cutting restriction intended to protect foraging Indiana bats from April 1 to September 30.
The Commission is moving to have the initial stage of Pennsylvania noise walls installed this year. This work will occur in advance of the bridge replacement project construction, which currently is expected to get fully underway in late-first-quarter/early-second-quarter 2017. Additional tree clearing activities for the bridge project – including the Pennsylvania portion of I-95 from the Taylorsville Road interchange to the Scudder Falls Bridge – are expected to begin later this year.
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.
More information about the project may be viewed or downloaded at the Commission’s website or the project-specific website www.scudderfallsbridge.com.
A video about the project is available for viewing on YouTube at:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-yGEU55B-M.