NEW HOPE, PA – The effort to replace the functionally obsolete and congestion-prone Scudder Falls (I-95) Bridge continued to advance today with the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission’s approval of three engineering contracts to provide construction inspection services for replacing and demolishing the existing Scudder Falls Bridge, as well as improvements to the Pennsylvania and New Jersey approaches to the bridge.
Land-based construction activities are currently expected to begin in the next 4 to 6 weeks. The Commission estimates that in-water construction activities related to the project will begin in mid-summer.
Each of the three engineering consulting firms selected to provide construction inspection services will be responsible for monitoring and overseeing specific areas of the project’s construction field activities. They also will be responsible for ensuring that the construction work – which is being performed by the Trumbull Corporation — and materials conform with the Commission’s plans and specifications
Contracts approved by the Commission today, include:
- Construction Inspections Services for the Main River Bridge to Parson Brinckerhoff, Incorporated of Lawrenceville, NJ for an amount not-to-exceed $7,776,718.32. Under the contract, the firm will be responsible for construction inspection services for the demolition of the existing Scudder Falls Bridge and construction of a replacement bridge over the Delaware River.
- Construction Inspection Services for the Pennsylvania Approach to the new Scudder Falls Bridge to TRC Engineers, Inc. of Plymouth Meeting, PA for an amount not-to-exceed $6,515,220.03. TRC Engineers will be responsible for providing construction inspection services for various aspects of the projects in Pennsylvania, including improvements to the Taylorsville Road/I-95 Interchange in Pennsylvania; the widening of I-95 in Pennsylvania; replacement of the I-95 bridges over the Delaware Canal and Taylorsville Road; the construction of the Commissions first All Electronic Tolling Facility; and other project elements.
- Construction Inspection Services for the New Jersey Approach to the Scudder Falls Bridge to Gannett Fleming, Inc. of South Plainfield, NJ for an amount not-to-exceed $6,568,103.32. Gannett Fleming will provide construction inspection services for certain project elements in New Jersey, including reconstruction to the I-95/Route 29/Route 175 Interchange in New Jersey; the widening of I-95; the replacement of the I-95 approach bridges; bridge-mounted utility conduits under these bridges; and other project elements.
While the existing bridge is safe for current use, it is nearing the end of its useful life and is classified on the National Bridge Inventory list as “functionally obsolete” due to concerns with capacity, safety deficiencies, shoulders, and poor approach roadway geometry.
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 interchange (exit 49) in Bucks County, PA and the Bear Tavern Road/Route 579 interchange (exit 2) in Mercer County, NJ. The congestion-prone highway segment is a choke point for job-commuter traffic between the two states.
Project elements include:
- Replacing the existing four-lane Scudder Falls Bridge with a twin-span structure carrying six lanes of through traffic (three in each direction), and three auxiliary lanes (two northbound, one southbound) for traffic merging on and off the bridge.
- Overhauling the accident-prone Route 29/175 interchange on the New Jersey side to improve the safety and efficiency of the interchange.
- Reconfiguring the Taylorsville Road interchange in Lower Makefield, PA to improve the safety and efficiency of the interchange.
- Making drainage upgrades and other improvements along the approach highway between the Route 29/175 interchange and Bear Tavern Road in New Jersey.
- Widening to the inside the Pennsylvania I-95 approach between the Route 332 exit and the bridge by adding an additional lane and full shoulders in each direction.
- Providing a bicycle/pedestrian walkway alongside the main river bridge connecting the recreational canal paths on both sides of the river.
- Constructing full inside and outside shoulders on both replacement bridge spans, a current highway standard requirement. (The bridge’s inside shoulders will be sized to allow for future bus rapid transit service.)
- Installing an all-electronic toll (AET) gantry and related infrastructure in the southbound direction consisting of highway-speed E-ZPass tag readers and high-speed video cameras for license-plate billing.
- Constructing noise-abatement walls along warranted sections of the approach roadways leading to and from the bridge.
Tolls at the new bridge, which will be assessed only in the southbound direction, will be collected via an all-electronic tolling (AET) system of E-ZPass tag readers and high-resolution cameras. The base toll for an E-ZPass-equipped passenger vehicle crossing the Scudder Falls Replacement Bridge will be $1.25. Frequent commuters who make 16 tolled crossings in a respective month across Commission toll bridges will qualify for an automatic 40-percent discount provided the transactions are recorded on the same DRJTBC-affiliated E-ZPass transponder.
Passenger vehicles without E-ZPass will have images of their license plates captured by high-speed cameras and the registered owner of the vehicle will receive an invoice. The passenger vehicle Toll-by-Plate toll will be $2.60 per trip. The higher toll is applied to cover the additional costs of processing non-E-ZPass transactions.
The full toll schedule for the Scudder Falls Replacement Bridge, including rates for trucks and other non-passenger vehicles, may be accessed on the tolling documents page of the project website www.scudderfallsbridge.com.