LOWER MAKEFILED, PA – The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission has awarded a contract to a Pennsylvania architectural firm to design a new office building that would serve as the agency’s administrative headquarters.
The building would be constructed on a portion of a 10-acre parcel the Commission purchased from Lower Makefield Township, PA. last year. The property is easily accessible via the I-95/Taylorsville Road interchange (exits 51A & B) and is close to the Commission’s Scudder Falls Bridge, which is about to undergo a comprehensive replacement project over the next 4-1/2-years. The office building project is a separate undertaking and is not part of the much broader bridge project.
The office building design contract was awarded to USA Architects, Planners & Interior Designers of Easton, PA for a not-to-exceed amount of $1,376,451. The contract approval took place at the Commission’s monthly meeting on Monday, February 27.
Under the contract, USA Architects is to provide architectural, engineering, landscape architecture and interior design consulting to provide preliminary, final and post design services for a new one- or two-story building with approximately 25,000 square feet of space.
The new building is expected to include energy-efficient features such as daylighting, sustainable materials and systems, and other life-cycle cost features.
The new facility will serve as the Commission’s administrative headquarters, replacing the agency’s multi-use facility adjacent to Route 1 in Morrisville, PA.
“Our Morrisville building is 65-years old and has serious space and operational issues,” said DRJTBC Executive Director Joseph J. Resta. “It has reached the end of its functional life. The plan is to make the new Lower Makefield location our administrative and executive headquarters. This will then allow us to convert the old Morrisville facility into a regional maintenance hub for our southerly bridges.”
The Commission purchased its 10-acre Lower Makefield property in October. This property consists of woodlands, wetlands and an underutilized park-and-ride lot.
As part of the purchase, the Commission also committed to reconstructing the current park-and-ride lot at the corner of Woodside and Taylorsville roads to accommodate 103 parking spaces. The Commission would assume ownership of the lot, taking full responsibility for the future operation, maintenance, landscaping, snow plowing and trash removal in perpetuity.
Overall, the Commission’s plans for the 10-acre site include the new administration building; the reconstructed park-and-ride, approximately two acres of preserved wetlands and drainage swales, and a connector path that will link the park-and-ride lot with the Delaware Canal towpath and the access ramp for the pedestrian/bicycle walkway that is to be constructed as part of the Scudder Falls Bridge Replacement Project. Like the park-and-ride lot, the connector path will be constructed and maintained at the Commission’s expense.
Preliminary design work under the architectural contract will begin immediately and final design is expected to be completed in approximately eight months. If all goes as planned, construction of the office building would begin in early 2018 and reach completion for occupancy by mid-year 2019.