Thank you for visiting the website for the Scudder Falls Bridge Replacement Project. This site is being updated in conjunction with the start of the project’s final design stage in early 2015. New information and other changes are being implemented to keep the community well-informed as this important regional transportation project moves forward. The project team invites you to look through the website, learn more about the project, browse materials developed to support the environmental documentation process, or ask questions about the project.
The Scudder Falls Bridge spans the Delaware River between Ewing, N.J. and Lower Makefield, PA. The bridge, its adjoining interchanges and immediate approach roadways are a heavily used commuter route that encounters peak-period traffic congestion and travel delays on a daily basis. The existing bridge was constructed in 1959 and opened in 1961, becoming an important regional commuter connection between Bucks County, PA. and Mercer County, N.J. The bridge carried an average of 58,400 vehicles per day in 2014 – far more than it was designed to handle.
The current dysfunctional bridge is a 1,740-foot-long, 10-span structure consisting of two continuous steel-plate girders with alternating cantilever suspended spans and a heavily worn concrete deck. The bridge is safe for current use, though it is nearing the end of its useful life. The bridge is of similar design to the infamous Mianus River Bridge that collapsed in Connecticut in 1983. Under the National Bridge Inventory list, the existing bridge is classified as “functionally obsolete” due to concerns with capacity, safety deficiencies, shoulders, and poor approach roadway geometry. The bridge’s lack of shoulders cause lane closures when vehicles are stranded or when routine maintenance operations are conducted. Current interchange geometry creates difficult and unsafe traffic movements for commuter traffic.
The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission is advancing the Scudder Falls Bridge Replacement Project to address safety deficiencies and current and foreseeable future traffic congestion at the bridge, its nearby interchanges, and its approach roadways in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The project is expected to move into full construction in early 2017. However, work on some preparatory measures – such as noise-reduction walls – may begin in 2016.