LOWER MAKEFIELD >> The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission said there is a likelihood of increased traffic congestion and travel delays as job commuters adjust to a series of recently implemented travel changes in the vicinity of the I-295 Scudder Falls Toll Bridge.
Commuters who access I-295 in Bucks County to travel across the Scudder Falls Toll Bridge to job locations in neighboring Mercer County, NJ are advised to plan ahead and allow extra time to reach their destinations due to recently implemented interchange ramp closures at both ends of the bridge and a corresponding realignment of I-295’s NJ-bound travel lanes across the bridge.
Pennsylvania-bound I-295 motorists should not be appreciably impacted by the new travel changes; all interchange ramps along that direction of I-295 remain open.
On Friday, the following travel changes went into effect in the vicinity of the I-295/Scudder Falls Toll Bridge:
1. In Pennsylvania: I-295 EB (old I-95 NB) traffic was shifted into a new temporary alignment a short distance after the PA Route 332/Yardley-Newtown Road interchange (Exit 8). This new travel configuration will provide two lanes during morning peak periods, running immediately adjacent I-295 WB (old I-95 SB) traffic that was shifted into a new alignment when the new Scudder Falls Toll Bridge opened to Pennsylvania-bound traffic late July 9. (Note: Intermittent off-peak single-lane travel restrictions can be implemented in this direction on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 a.m. (next day) and, if necessary, on weekends.)
The two opposing directions of realigned I-295 traffic are separated by a concrete barrier, continuing across the new bridge into New Jersey where I-295 EB becomes I-295 SB. Although the new travel pattern for New Jersey-bound I-295 traffic moves beneath the tolling gantry at the Scudder Falls Toll Bridge, tolls are not assessed or collected in the New Jersey-bound direction. Tolls apply only to PA-bound vehicles crossing the new bridge.
2. In Pennsylvania: Three ramps are closed for up to three weeks (ending on or about August 17) on the southern side (Yardley side) of the I-295/Taylorsville Road interchange (New Hope-Yardley, Exit 10):
- The I-295 EB (old I-95 NB) exit ramp to Taylorsville Road immediately prior to the Scudder Falls Toll Bridge.
- The entrance ramp from Taylorsville Road SB to I-295 in the New Jersey-bound direction across the Scudder Falls Toll Bridge (I-295 SB).
- The entrance ramp from Taylorsville Road NB to I-295 in the New Jersey-bound direction across the Scudder Falls Toll Bridge (I-295 SB).
All detours for these three ramp closures are via the I-295/Route 332 interchange (Yardley-Newtown, Exit 8). I-295 EB motorists should exit there and follow detour signs for “Taylorsville Road.” Taylorsville Road motorist seeking to access the Scudder Falls Toll Bridge in the New Jersey-bound direction should follow detour signs for I-295 SB. See detour map below:
3. In New Jersey: Two ramps are closed in the vicinity of the Scudder Falls Toll Bridge:
- The I-295 SB off-ramp to NJ Route 29 immediately after crossing the new bridge from Pennsylvania into New Jersey is closed for three weeks (ending on or about August 17).
- The entry ramp to I-295 SB from NJ Route 175/River Road has been shut down for at least a year.
The detour for the Route 29 exit ramp closure involves making a U-turn onto I-295 NB approximately three miles west at the Scotch Road interchange (Exit 73A) and proceeding to the Route 29 exit ramp off I-295 NB just before the Scudder Falls Toll Bridge (last exit before toll); follow detour signs for “Route 29.”
While the Route 175/River Road on-ramp to I-295 SB is closed, motorist are advised to use the nearby southern roundabout at the Route 29 interchange to access an entry ramp to I-295 SB.
The four three-week-long ramp closures/detours at Taylorsville Road in Pennsylvania and Route 29 in New Jersey are enabling construction crews to extend the respective ramps out to the new temporary I-295 alignment in the vicinity of the newly opened Scudder Falls Toll Bridge’s completed upstream span.
Once in place, the new highway alignment will allow for demolition of the nearly 60-year-old “functionally obsolete” Scudder Falls Toll Bridge and construction of a second replacement span, which would open to traffic in either later 2020 or early 2021. The plan is to dismantle the old bridge in sections, including the masonry piers down to the bottom of the riverbed.
As sections of the old bridge get removed, construction crews will begin building the second replacement span – much of in the old bridge’s footprint.
The second new bridge at Scudder Falls is expected to open to traffic in either late 2020 or early 2021. Another transitional period will then get underway to complete the final stage of the 4-1/2-year-long regional-transportation project. Final project completion is expected in fall 2021.
More information on the Scudder Falls Bridge Replacement Project is available at www.scudderfallsbridge.com.