LOWER MAKEFIELD, PA – The construction of the Scudder Falls Replacement Bridge reached a significant milestone yesterday when the final steel girder section was lifted and put into place on the bridge’s upstream span, the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission announced today.
The emerging bridge superstructure immediately upstream of the current Scudder Falls Bridge is comprised of seven continuous steel girders, each consisting of 14 individual girder sections that were lifted by crane and bolted together atop the supporting masonry substructure of piers and abutments. All totaled, 98 individual girder sections were used in the construction of the upstream superstructure.
The task of lifting and connecting the massive girders began on the New Jersey side in February and was completed in March. Girder erection on the bridge’s Pennsylvania side began in August, with the final girder being put in place late yesterday afternoon. (Note: the Pennsylvania abutment and piers were constructed between March and August.)
Now that the girder-installation milestone has been eclipsed, the focus of attention shifts to completing the new bridge’s concrete deck.
This work – already well underway – is moving quickly. It entails a wide variety of tasks, including completion of steel-diaphragm connections between the seven recently erected bridge beams, installation of steel deck pans, and placement of rebar. Installations of concrete subsequently could be in position to begin in coming weeks.
The bridge’s upstream span is on track to be opened to traffic on a yet-to-be-determined date in 2019.