EWING, NJ – A major milestone of the Scudder Falls Bridge Replacement Project will be achieved early next week when the first of two planned roundabouts will become fully operational at the I-295/Route 29 interchange (Exit 76, old exit 1) on the New Jersey side of the Scudder Falls Bridge, the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission announced today.
The roundabout – a circular intersection where motorists travel counterclockwise around a center island — is on the interchange’s downstream side. It has been in limited operation since mid-August, serving Route 29 NB drivers seeking the new elevated entry ramp to I-295 SB (old I-95 NB) or the access lane to the existing on-ramp to I-295 NB/WB for Pennsylvania-bound travel across the Scudder Falls Bridge.
This roundabout is expected to be fully completed and shifted into full service on Monday morning, October 22. When this occurs, the roundabout will handle an increased measure of traffic movements. These will include I-295 EB/SB motorists seeking to access Route 29 NB & SB after crossing the Scudder Falls Bridge from Pennsylvania, Route 29 SB motorists seeking the new elevated on-ramp to I-295 SB, and some U-turns.
The redesign/reconstruction of the I-295/Route 29 interchange is a major facet of the 4-1/2-year-long Scudder Falls Bridge Replacement Project, which is currently underway along a 4.4-mile segment of I-295 in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The project’s Environmental Assessment issued in November 2009 described the planned interchange’s redesign and corresponding incorporation of roundabouts as follows:
“This design is preferred by NJDOT (New Jersey Department of Transportation) and viewed as the best option from safety and traffic operations perspectives. This design will retain the bypasses for Route 29 northbound and southbound through traffic and will allow free-flow traffic through the interchange, as preferred design does not include any traffic signals or stop sign-controlled intersections.”
Downstream Roundabout Description
The downstream roundabout is designed in accordance with Federal Highway Administration guidelines. It will have a single travel lane with a 150-foot outer diameter.
As previously noted, travel within the roundabout will be counterclockwise. Traffic lanes/ramps entering the roundabout will be Route 29 NB, the I-295 EB/SB exit ramp (first exit in New Jersey after crossing the Scudder Falls Bridge from Pennsylvania); and Route 29 SB.
The lanes and ramps approaching the roundabout will have triangular splitter islands to guide the direction of traffic and control speeds at the access points.
The roundabout’s center island has low-height-shrub landscaping and is surrounded by a concrete truck apron. This raised section of concrete can provide extra space for larger vehicles. The roundabout can therefore accommodate a typical five-axle tractor-trailer, although such vehicles rarely use the interchange due to travel restrictions for trucks along Route 29.
A rudimentary rendering of what the roundabout’s traffic movements will be upon full completion of the Scudder Falls Bridge in 2021 can be found by clicking here.