The contractor for the multi-faceted, 4-1/2-year long Scudder Falls Bridge Replacement project is engaged in a variety of preparatory activities in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, but daily travel restrictions along I-95 are not expected for several more weeks, the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission announced today.
The lead contractor Trumbull Corporation and several of its subcontractors have carried out a series of land-based tasks in recent weeks as the project slowly intensifies toward the start of in-river construction activities for the new bridge in early July.
To date, the preparatory work has involved shoulder closures or traffic shifts throughout the project area in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. But beginning next week, some short-term lane closures – and one brief localized detour — will be needed to allow work activities on the New Jersey side of the Scudder Falls Bridge. These scheduled roadway travel restrictions – which are weather dependent — are as follows:
- Off-peak — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 31, right lane closure along I-95 north in Ewing, N.J.;
- Overnight — 10 p.m. Wednesday, May 31, to 6 a.m. Thursday, June 1, Route 29 south closed in the vicinity of the Scudder Falls Bridge with affected traffic detoured back to Route 29 south via nearby NJ Route 175/River Road in Ewing, N.J.
- Overnights – 7 p.m. Thursday, June 1, to 5:30 a.m. Friday, June 2 and 7 p.m. Friday, June 2, to 5:30 a.m. Saturday, June 3, Route 29 north reduced to a single lane in the vicinity of the Scudder Falls Bridge.
- Overnight – 7 p.m. Friday, June 2, to 5:30 a.m. Saturday, June 3, Route 29 south reduced to single lane in the vicinity of the Scudder Falls Bridge.
Motorist impacts from these scheduled lane closures, if any, are expected to be minor.
The project is being staged in a manner to minimize travel impacts to motorists who use the Scudder Falls Bridge and I-95 for their daily job commutes. The current bridge will remain in service until the first span of the replacement bridge is opened to traffic (sometime in 2019). Accordingly, no detours or alternate routes are planned for I-95 on account of the bridge construction staging.
Under the project staging plans, two lanes will continue to be provided in a respective peak travel direction on the bridge and I-95 during weekday commuting periods – 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the northbound direction (PA to NJ) and 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the southbound direction (NJ to PA). The contractor may establish single-lane travel patterns on the bridge and I-95 only during off-peak travel periods, which are 10 a.m. to 6 a.m. (next day) in the northbound direction and 7 p.m. to 2 p.m. (next day) in the southbound direction. Daily travel restrictions at the bridge and along I-95 still remain weeks away, though.
Since kicking off preparatory activities during the week of May 8, project work crews have been engaged in the following tasks:
- Placing advance warning signs in the area of the I-95/Route 29 interchange in New Jersey;
- Installing erosion control/construction entrances on the system of ramps within the I-95/Route 29 interchange;
- Clearing/grubbing and installing temporary drainage for short-term transitional ramps within the I-95/Route 29 interchange;
- Removing guide rails and establishing construction access points for the replacement bridge along NJ Route 29 south;
- Preparing a staging/laydown area in the northeast quadrant of the I-95/Route 332 interchange in Pennsylvania;
- Conducting survey work throughout the 4.4 mile-long project area in NJ and PA.
Next week, the list of project activities will begin to expand to include:
- Night-time milling and paving of existing shoulders on I-95 north and south in Pennsylvania;
- Constructing a temporary ramp from Taylorsville Road southbound to I-95 north;
- Initiating work on stormwater pre-treatment basins along I-95 north in PA;
- Establishing stone construction entrances in PA; and
- Installing temporary construction barriers along sections of Route 29 north and I-95 south in New Jersey.
While not part of the main project construction contract, a host of other activities have been underway in the project area in recent weeks. Along the Pennsylvania I-95 approach to the bridge, a series of noise-abatement walls are being installed at warranted locations along the highway. That work is scheduled to end June 2. Additionally, utility crews from Comcast, PECO, Verizon, and Sunesys have moved transmission lines in advance of the new bridge in the area of Taylorsville, Woodside and River roads in Lower Makefield, PA.