LOWER MAKEFIELD, PA – The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission recently awarded the construction contract for a new headquarters building that will enable the bi-state agency to centralize its executive and administrative staff.
The new building is to be constructed on a portion of a 10-acre parcel the Commission purchased from Lower Makefield Township in 2016. The property is easily accessible from what is currently signed I-95 but is in the process of being redesignated as I-295. The property borders on Taylorsville and Woodside roads to the west and north, respectively, and is in close proximity to the Scudder Falls Bridge, which is currently undergoing replacement under a 4-1/2-year-long project. The office building project is a separate undertaking and is not part of the much broader bridge project.
The new office facility will replace an aging Commission administration building in Morrisville, PA, and will allow for consolidation of additional staff from several other locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Once constructed, the new office building will enable the Commission to redesign its aging Morrisville facilities into an improved maintenance-oriented operation. Maintenance operations will not be performed out of the new Scudder Falls location.
The office-building project also will include renovations and adaptive reuse of a nearby stone house the dates to 1799. That structure was acquired by the Commission prior to the onset of Scudder Falls Bridge Replacement Project construction. This building will be turned into a public restroom with a lobby outfitted with informational displays or materials; the lion’s share of users would be pedestrians, bicyclists and other recreationists using the nearby Delaware Canal towpath or the walkway that is to be constructed on the upstream span of the Scudder Falls Replacement Bridge.
Another major project element will be the reconstruction of the deteriorating park-and-ride lot at the northwest corner of the property. Plans call for the under-utilized lot to be right-sized to slightly more than 100 spaces with a connector path to the 1799 Building. The park-and-ride lot, connector path, and 1799 Building will then be maintained at the Commission’s expense in perpetuity.
The project’s construction contract was awarded to Bracy Construction, Inc. of Allentown, PA, for a not-to-exceed amount of $21,357,000 at the Commission’s meeting on March 26.
The Commission’s new 35,000 square foot, 2-story administration building will house professional office and meeting spaces, lobby/reception area, professional work stations, break rooms, support spaces, as well as outdoor eating and gathering spaces. The facility is expected to include energy-efficient elements such as natural daylighting, rooftop solar panels, sustainable materials and systems and other life-cycle, cost-saving features. The design team included building elements such as a glass curtainwalls and building structure to allude to a truss-like bridge structure.
“This project along with the maintenance facility currently in design for our Morrisville location are building blocks for the near and long term needs of the Commission as it works toward the completion of the Scudder Falls Bridge Replacement Project in latter part of 2021,” said Joseph J. Resta, the Commission’s executive director.
Construction activities for the new administration building are expected to begin later this spring and reach completion during summer 2019.