The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires projects involving a federal action to be evaluated for potential environmental impacts. Projects whose impacts are not known or not expected to have any significant impacts go through an Environmental Assessment (EA). The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission (DRJTBC) in cooperation with Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PENNDOT), New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), and Federal Highway Association (FHWA) decided to prepare an EA for this project.
The consultant team conducted an EA for this project using PENNDOT's Project Development Process. All reasonable design alternatives and their potential impacts were documented, and the public had multiple opportunities to provide input. The EA process has provided the DRJTBC, FHWA, PENNDOT and NJDOT with the information they will require to determine the most appropriate course of action to meet the Purpose & Need of the project.
Some of the environmental features that were evaluated related to water quality and aquatic life, cumulative and secondary impacts, air quality, noise quality, historic resources, and construction impacts on local communities.
Environmental AssessmentThe Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission (DRJTBC) has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the I-95/Scudder Falls Bridge Improvement Project. The document identifies and evaluates a variety of project alternatives and lists the agencies and persons consulted in connection with the proposed project. Developing an EA is a complex and lengthy process; however, it is intended to result in decisions about transportation improvements that are in the best interest of the public.
The EA was reviewed by Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT). The document also was reviewed by federal and state environmental resource and regulatory agencies with regard to project findings, assessments and mitigation for a number of environmental considerations within the project limits including historical and archeological resources, threatened and endangered species, and wetlands, among others.
The FHWA approved the release of the document for public examination and comment. The public comment period ended on February 4, 2010.
The EA was used by the FHWA to determine whether any significant environmental impacts will result from this project.
Descriptions and illustrations of the DRJTBC's Preferred Alternative contained in the EA appear on this Web site under the Preferred Alternative.
Environmental Assessment/Draft Section 4(f) Evaluation Document:
Volume 1 - Environmental Assessment (EA) - (9 Mb)
Volume 2 - Attachments A-C to EA - (8.2 Mb)
Volume 3 - Draft Section 4(f) Evaluation - (7 Mb)
Project Status Update
Environmental Assessment Addendum
The EA/Draft 4(f) document circulated in December 2009 predated a decision about the bicycle/pedestrian facility and the tolling of the Scudder Falls Bridge. DRJTBC prepared an Addendum to the Environmental Assessment that includes the decisions to build the bicycle/pedestrian facility and to toll the new bridge. The EA Addendum was submitted to FHWA, PennDOT and NJDOT for review on January 7, 2011 and the multi-agency review is complete. A Public Hearing for the EA Addendum was held on Thursday, December 15, 2011 at the Sheraton Bucks County Hotel in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. A summary of the responses to written and verbal comments by the public on the Environmental Assessment appears in Appendix H of the EA Addendum.
Final Section 4(f) Evaluation
The Final Section 4(f) Evaluation was submitted to FHWA in February 2012 and the Final Legal Sufficiency Review of the document has been completed.
Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a determination of Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the I-95/Scudder Falls Bridge Improvement Project dated June 14, 2012.
This finding is based on the evaluation of the Environmental Assessment (EA) issued in December 2009; the Addendum to the Environmental Assessment issued in November 2011; and the other items of the project record, that include:
• Response to Comments Package for the Environmental Assessment/Draft Section 4(f) Evaluation, January 2012;The Proposed Action includes adding a travel lane and adequate outside and inside shoulders in each direction on I-95 with auxiliary lanes to accommodate entry and exit from adjoining interchanges on the I-95/Scudder Falls Replacement Bridge. The Proposed Action also includes improvements to the Taylorsville Road interchange in Pennsylvania and to the NJ Route 29 interchange in New Jersey; highway improvements necessary to transition to the existing six-lane section of I-95 extending approximately 1.5 miles east from NJ Route 29 to the Bear Tavern Road (County Route 579) Interchange; a pedestrian/bicycle facility, contiguous with the new I-95/Scudder Falls Bridge southbound structure across the Delaware River, connecting the Delaware Canal towpath in Pennsylvania with the Delaware and Raritan Canal towpath in New Jersey; and tolling of the I-95/Scudder Falls Replacement Bridge through all electronic cashless tolling (AECT). The FONSI and the other project record documents listed above are available for public review at the following locations:
• Response to Comments Package for the Addendum to the Environmental Assessment, February 21, 2012;
• March 8, 2012 National Marine Fisheries Service letter regarding consultation for Atlantic Sturgeon; and
• Interagency Agreement between PennDOT, NJDOT and the DRJTBC, dated April 30, 2012.
• Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission, 110 Wood and Grove Streets, Morrisville, PA 19067
• Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission, Executive Offices, 2492 River Road, New Hope, PA 18938-9519
• Lower Makefield, Township Municipal Building, 1100 Edgewood Road, Yardley, PA 19067
• Ewing Township Municipal Offices Department of the Municipal Clerk, 2 Jake Garzio Drive, Ewing, NJ 08628
• Bucks County Free Library, Yardley- Makefield Branch, 1080 Edgewood Road, Lower Makefield Township, PA 19067
• Mercer County Library, Ewing Branch, 61 Scotch Road, Ewing, NJ 08628
• PennDOT District 6-0, 7000 Geerdes Boulevard, King of Prussia, PA 19406