Scudder Falls Bridge – Aging and Deficient

  • Currrent bridge is a vital regional job commuting link
    • Connects bedroom communities in Bucks County, PA with employment centers in or near Mercer County, N.J. (NJ state capital in Trenton; the I-95 corridor in Ewing, Hopewell and Lawrence Townships; and the Route 1 corridor in the Greater Princeton area.)
    •  Also provides access to the Trenton-Mercer Airport, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) and New Jersey Transit Authority (NJ Transit) stations on either side of the river
  • The existing Scudder Falls Bridge is over 50 years old, has experienced structural deterioration and does not meet current design criteria, which presents a future reliability and safety concern
  • The current bridge lacks inside and outside shoulders; this presents a safety concern, contributes to congestion, and hinders response to accidents and emergencies
    • No refuge for drivers in the event of a breakdown, crash or other emergency
  • Major incidents can create substantial traffic delays along I-95 and throughout the region far beyond the bridge
  • Existing acceleration and deceleration lanes and spacing of ramp merges at the adjoining NJ Route 29 and Taylorsville Road interchanges are inadequate, which present safety concerns and contribute to congestion
  • The lack of – or inadequate configuration of – deceleration and acceleration lanes from the adjoining interchanges, combined with deficient spacing of interchange ramp merges, creates potentially unsafe weaving and merging/diverging patterns on the bridge
  • The Route 29 interchange in New Jersey also marks the transition of I-95 from three travel lanes in each direction to two lanes in each direction on the bridge
  • The complete lack of an acceleration lane at the on ramp from Route 29 to I-95 southbound requires vehicles to come to a full stop at a stop sign at the end of the ramp, before merging directly into mainline traffic moving at high speeds on the bridge
  • This configuration combined with heavy-traffic volumes – particularly at weekday evening peak periods – makes it difficult for drivers to find sufficient gaps for pulling into I-95 traffic at the bridge because they must accelerate into high-speed traffic from a stopped position