2015 Stopgap Road Surface Repair Project

  • In an effort to extend the service life of the current Scudder Falls Bridge until a twin-span replacement bridge can be constructed, the Commission conducted a road-surface-repair project on the bridge during the summer of 2015
  • The project made full- and partial-depth repairs along designated portions of the bridge’s road deck where pothole patching has become increasingly ineffective or impractical
  • Many of the work activities were limited to overnight hours
  • All travel restrictions were strictly restricted to off-peak driving periods
  • The final travel restrictions -- for lane striping -- were lifted in late August
  • After completing these initial deck repairs, the project contractor will now remain on call for two years to make any subsequent road-surface repairs that may become needed at the aging bridge
  • The project is based on a 2014 study that determined ways to address the bridge’s most severe areas of deterioration
  • Plans for the 2015 stopgap repair project were drawn and the project was put out to bid; a contract was awarded in May 2015 to Sparwick Contracting, Inc. of New Jersey, which submitted the low bid of $916,696
  • This dual strategy of initial repairs followed by an extended two-year repair agreement was determined to be a more cost-effective and sound approach than full replacement of the existing bridge’s 50-plus-year-old road deck
  • A full replacement of the concrete bridge deck would cost approximately $45 million to $50 million
  • A full deck replacement would be burdensome to motorists, with the current bridge being reduced to single lanes in each direction on a round-the-clock basis for prolonged periods; such a scenario would exacerbate the bridge’s current traffic congestion problem to such a level of frustration and inconvenience as to be atrocious
  • As if that wasn’t bad enough, a full deck replacement would have taken up to 2-1/2 years to complete
  • In contrast, the 2015 stop-gap repair project was determined to be cheaper, less burdensome for motorists, shorter in duration
  • Moreover, the short-term project should ensure the operating integrity of the current bridge just long enough for a Replacement Bridge to be built