The Scudder Falls (I-95) Bridge Replacement Project took a major step forward recently with the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission’s approval of a $396 million construction contract award and a corresponding $475 million bond authorization to finance the project.
While the current 57-year-old bridge is safe for current use, it is nearing the end of its useful life and is classified on the National Bridge Inventory list as “functionally obsolete” due to concerns with capacity, safety deficiencies, shoulders, and poor approach roadway geometry. The existing bridge’s lack of shoulders causes lane closures when vehicles are stranded or when routine maintenance operations are conducted, which can cause significant travel delays. In addition, the geometry of the bridge’s interchanges creates difficult and unsafe traffic movements and mergers for commuter traffic.
Under the project, the current four-lane Scudder Falls Bridge will be replaced with a dual-span structure carrying six lanes of through traffic (three in each direction), and three auxiliary lanes (two northbound, one southbound) for traffic merging on and off the bridge. The new bridge will have increased capacity, which should reduce congestion and improve travel time for drivers, and the new auxiliary lanes will allow for safer merging. The project will also provide for construction of full inside and outside shoulders on both replacement bridge spans, a current highway standard requirement.
A precise start date for construction is not yet available, but the contractor probably will be in a position to start survey work sometime in March with construction activities possibly beginning in April. It should take about 4-1/2 years to complete the project, which is expected to be built in three major stages.
The Commission plans to keep traffic moving along the affected I-95 segment and across the river at all times. The current Scudder Falls Bridge will remain in service until the first of the new dual replacement spans is completed and opened to traffic sometime in 2019. The Commission will begin collecting tolls in the southbound direction only at that time.
For full details on this announcement please go HERE