Preparation is beginning for a $370 million replacement of the Scudder Falls Bridge carrying I-95 over the Delaware River between Lower Makefield, PA and Ewing, NJ.
Teams begin clearing trees on the northbound side of I-95 between Route 322 and Taylorsville Road on this week. And some time this year, crews will also begin erecting noise-reduction walls on either side of the span.
The initial phases are not expected to disrupt traffic, according to spokesman Joe Donnelly of the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission.
Construction of a wider, stronger bridge just upstream of the existing structure is slated to begin in 2017 and last up to four years. The old bridge will remain in service while the new bridge is constructed – one direction at a time. The new bridge will include a shoulder that could function as a bus lane, as well as a pedestrian and bicycle way on the upstream side of the southbound lanes.
To pay for the upgrade, the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission will levy a “cashless” toll for what had been free passage across the bridge, starting about halfway through the construction phase. Commuters will be able to pay with EZPass or be billed via video capture of license plates of vehicles crossing the bridge
The toll amount will not be set until the third quarter of 2016. The base rate under consideration, according to the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission website, is one dollar.