For decades, I-95 has been a disjointed roadway in New Jersey, with a southern stem ending at Route 1 in Lawrence Township and a northern stem ending at the New Jersey Turnpike’s Exit 7A interchange in Robbinsville.
This missing gap is being rectified as a result of the Pennsylvania Turnpike/I-95 Interchange Stage 1 construction, which is anticipated to reach completion in fall 2018. This will allow for I-95 to be routed along the Pennsylvania and New Jersey (NJ) turnpikes. The plan is for I-95 to diverge from its current route in Pennsylvania at the new interchange with I-276 (PA Turnpike). It will then proceed in an easterly direction along the PA Turnpike, across the Delaware River (Turnpike Connector) Bridge to New Jersey, along the connector extension to NJ Turnpike Exit 6, and then north along the NJ Turnpike. This new interchange and resulting redesignation will eliminate I-95’s missing link in New Jersey, making the interstate highway continuous for the first time from Florida to Maine.
Before this transition takes place, however, the current orphan segment of I-95 in Mercer County, N.J. and Bucks County, PA. will be redesignated as I-295. This 20-mile highway segment includes the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission’s Scudder Falls Bridge. (The bridge is currently undergoing under a 4-1/2 year reconstruction project that is expected to end by late 2021.)
The change of this portion of I-95 to I-295 was approved in May 2015 by the Federal Highway Administration after various alternatives were presented to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering. Download Decision letter Here.
Under the approved redesignation, the Mercer County, N.J. portion of I-95 will be redesignated as I-295 north and south, and the Bucks County, PA. portion of I-95 will be redesignated as I-295 east and west. The change also will involve the renumbering of seven interchanges in New Jersey and four in Pennsylvania.
The redesignation of the orphan I-95 segment is scheduled to take part in three phases during 2018. Under Phase 1, the New Jersey Department of Transportation is having signs replaced from the Princeton Pike interchange (New Exit 68/Old Exit 8) to the Bear Tavern Road/County Route 579 interchange (New Exit 75/Old Exit 2) between January and March.
Upon completion, the redesignation process will enter a brief Phase 2 involving the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission. This work will take place between the Bear Tavern Road/County Route 579 interchange (new I-295 Exit 75/old I-95 Exit 2) in Ewing, N.J. and the Taylorsville Road interchange (new I-295 exit 10/old I-95 Exit 51). (Phase 3 is to be conducted by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority between spring and fall 2018.
Rolling slowdowns and single-lane closures will be utilized to carry out the Commission’s portion of the highway redesignation. The travel restrictions will be limited to off-peak periods and are not expected to cause any significant traffic impacts for motorists.
Work is scheduled to take place Friday, March 23 (weather permitting).
The contractor for the Commission’s Scudder Falls Bridge Replacement Project will perform the work. This will involve the installation of 26 temporary overlay signs along the affected 1.5 mile roadway segment in the vicinity of the Scudder Falls Bridge.
While not directly related to the Scudder Falls Bridge Replacement Project, the Commission’s Phase 2 I-95/I-295 redesignation will be conducted under that project contract.
I-95 is discontinuous within New Jersey. From the south, I-95 enters New Jersey on the Scudder Falls Bridge and continues until the Route 1 interchange, where the roadway becomes I-295 and continues south. From the north, I-95 enters New Jersey from the George Washington Bridge and continues south on the New Jersey Turnpike until Exit 7A.
This disjointed configuration was caused by the 1983 cancellation of the Somerset Freeway, which would have run from the Trenton segment of I-95 in Hopewell Township northeast to I-287 in Piscataway Township, where I-95 would have followed present-day I-287 to the New Jersey Turnpike in Edison.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike/Interstate 95 Interchange Project will rectify this long-standing highway anomaly through the construction of an interchange linking the Pennsylvania Turnpike/I-276 with I-95 in Bristol Township, PA. Upon completion in fall 2018, I-95 will be rerouted beginning at a new interchange with the Pennsylvania Turnpike/I-276 in Bristol Township, PA. I-95 will then proceed east, crossing the Delaware River Toll Bridge (Turnpike Connector) to New Jersey where it will then join the New Jersey Turnpike at Exit 6, proceeding north to the George Washington Bridge and New York State. The prior truncated I-95 segment around the north side of Trenton to the new interchange in Bristol Twp., PA is in the process of being redesignated as an extension of I-295.
Under the redesignation plan approved by AASHTO/FHWA in 2015, the portions of I-95 in Mercer County, N.J. and Bucks County, PA. are being redesignated as follows:
|New Jersey old designation||New Jersey new designation|
|I-95 south||I-295 north|
|I-95 north||I-295 south|
|Pennsylvania old designation||Pennsylvania new designation|
|I-95 south||I-295 west|
|I-95 north||I-295 east|