EWING, NJ – Motorists using the Scudder Falls (I-95) Bridge could encounter slight travel delays during off-peak weekday travel periods beginning next week, the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission announced today.
On or about Wednesday, October 19, northbound traffic on the bridge will be restricted to single-lane travel configurations 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. This restriction is to be repeated on a daily basis, Monday through Friday, for roughly a week and a half. Thereafter, southbound traffic on the bridge will be restricted to single-lane travel configurations 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday for roughly another week and a half.
During each respective travel-restricted period, motorists on NJ Route 29 and PA Route 32 also may encounter lane shifts and flagger-controlled traffic stops at the areas where those roadways cross beneath the Scudder Falls Bridge or one of its nearby its I-95 approach overpasses.
The various travel restrictions are needed to allow work crews to prepare the current bridge’s underside for the upcoming Scudder Falls Bridge Replacement Project, currently projected to get underway in the first half of 2017. The timing of the lane closures was selected in an effort to mitigate impacts during the morning rush hour in the northbound direction and the evening rush hour in the southbound direction.
Only minor travel impacts are expected to arise during the aforementioned restricted-travel periods. Barring any unforeseen issues, the bridge should return to normal operations in early November, with two travel lanes in each direction on a round-the-clock basis.
(Note: The listed travel restrictions are subject to change due to weather, emergency, and traffic considerations. Motorists should reduce their speeds whenever traveling through a designated work zone.)
The Commission also announced today that it expects Stage 2 of the advance tree-cutting work for the Scudder Falls Bridge Replacement Project to get fully underway on the New Jersey side of the current bridge.
Tree-cutting crews are expected to go to work along northbound I-95 on the bridge’s New Jersey side on or about Monday, October 17. Currently, the plan is for crews to proceed north along I-95 to the Route 579/Bear Tavern Road interchange (Exit 2), where they will reverse course to cut trees along previously designated areas along I-95 southbound. Eventually, the tree cutting will proceed to include various wooded tracts on the Pennsylvania side of the bridge.
The tree cutting activities are expected to continue into early 2017. Much of the work will be conducted from the roadside shoulders along I-95 and will not require lane closures. However, traffic shifts may be needed periodically at the bridge’s nearby interchanges and feeder roads.
The Stage 2 tree cutting will allow for construction of several of the main elements of the Scudder Falls Bridge Replacement Project, including the building of a new dual-span bridge and reconfiguring or reconstructing the interchanges at each end of the current bridge.
Stage 1 tree cutting work – which was restricted to the bridge’s Pennsylvania I-95 approach between the Route 332/Newtown-Yardley Road interchange (Exit 49) and the Route 32/Taylorsville Road interchange (Exits 51 A & B) – ended on March 1 for the Indiana bat foraging season. A six-month moratorium on large-scale tree cutting activities ended October 1, allowing the Stage 2 tree cutting work to proceed.
The Scudder Falls Bridge Replacement 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.