Starting Monday, four NJ and PA ramps close for five weeks for 295 bridge rebuild
EWING — To facilitate the completion of a second, new span of the Scudder Falls Bridge, four ramps providing access to and from Interstate 295 heading from Pennsylvania into New Jersey will be closed round-the-clock starting Monday, July 12, continuing for five weeks.
"At this point, weather permitting, ending on Aug. 16 — if we're lucky," Joe Donnelly, deputy executive director of communications for the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission, said.
Donnelly said specific weather concerns for summertime projects include humid air and a tendency for pop-up thunderstorms, but as far as drivers are concerned, alerting them to when these closures begin is the most important thing.
"Once the adjustment is made and people realize what the change is, and that it's going to stay in place, it usually settles out after the first day or so," Donnelly said.
He added that the DRJTBC appreciates the patience and understanding of drivers throughout this now-four-year-old project, during which the first of the two new bridge spans opened two summers ago.
Along the way, the highway itself was re-signed, as the stretch from Lawrence Township through Ewing Township, and then into Pennsylvania, had long been known as I-95, with exit numbers in New Jersey counting down from 8 to 1 instead of up from 68 to 76.
Three of the ramp closures are in Pennsylvania, one in New Jersey, all on the Jersey-bound approach, which is now signed as 295 East in Pennsylvania and 295 South on the Jersey side. They are:
- the 295 EB exit ramp to Taylorsville Road (Exit 10, New Hope/Yardley)
- ramps from both sides of Taylorsville Road onto 295 EB
- the 295 SB exit ramp to Route 29 (Exit 76, Lambertville/Trenton).
Donnelly said commuters into New Jersey should budget extra time.
"That exit ramp that comes off into New Jersey is often used by people who work in Trenton," he said.
Drivers can use detours on either side of the closure, at Exit 8 (Newtown) in Pennsylvania or Exit 73 (Scotch Road, Ewing) in New Jersey, the latter of which provides a traffic light-free loop to re-enter onto 295 northbound and exit for Route 29 either north or south.
The New Jersey Department of Transportation-owned roundabout off the Route 29 ramps, which was an offshoot of the bridge project, has been working well, according to Donnelly.
"We've been surprised at how efficient that's working," he said. "It's a much-improved design."
When fully completed, which Donnelly hopes will be by next spring, the bridge reconstruction will also be supplemented by a widening of 295 and a bicycle-pedestrian walkway.