LOWER MAKEFIELD, PA – Drivers and local residents should begin to see the first sections of noise-abatement walls go into place along warranted portions of I-95 in Lower Makefield, PA shortly after Labor Day, the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission (DRJTBC) announced today.
A series of noise walls are being constructed along I-95 between the Route 332/Yardley-Newtown Road interchange (Exit 49) and the Route 32/Taylorsville Road interchange (Exit 51 A & B) in advance of the Commission’s $439-million Scudder Falls Bridge Replacement Project, which is scheduled to begin in spring 2017 and end in 2021.
Work on the advance Pennsylvania noise wall contract began in early July and has included tasks like land surveying, ground preparation, drainage installation, and placement of silt fencing. Project progress has about reached the point where actual noise walls can begin going into place.
In anticipation of this project juncture, the fabrication of noise wall posts and panels got underway last week. Posts are expected to be delivered and start being installed along portions of I-95 northbound early next week. The subsequent installation of panels is expected to begin later in the week.
The texture and color of the residential side of the Pennsylvania noise walls was chosen based on the responses the public gave late last year and early this year in a Commission survey of potential architectural treatment options. The residential sides of the walls will have a grey fractured-rock appearance, the majority preference in the survey.
Under the advance construction contract, a total of six sections of noise walls with an approximate length of 12,500 feet are to be installed along Pennsylvania’s I-95 approach to the Scudder Falls Bridge. The noise-wall work is expected to be completed in spring 2017, following an anticipated suspension of work activities due to weather conditions during the winter months.
The Commission formally approved the replacement of the current 55-year-old Scudder Falls Bridge in a 2009 resolution designating the new bridge to be operated as a tolled facility in the southbound direction. The Commission currently is accepting public comment on a proposed toll schedule for the replacement bridge that is posted on www.drjtbc.org.
Final design for the multi-faceted $439 million project is currently being performed by the world-wide engineering firm Michael Baker International and is expected to be completed in the coming weeks.
The Scudder Falls Bridge Replacement Project involves much more than a new bridge. The project encompasses a heavily commuted 4.4-mile portion of I-95 extending from the Route 332/Yardley-Newtown Road exit in Bucks County, PA and the Bear Tavern Road/Route 579 exit in Mercer County, NJ. The congestion-prone highway segment is a choke point for job-commuter traffic between Bucks County and Central Jersey. The segment, especially in the area of the bridge and its flanking interchanges, has a high accident rate; more than 100 accidents a year and some have been fatal.
More information and videos on the bridge replacement project are available at www.scudderfallsbridge.com.