The first span of the I-295 Scudder Falls Bridge opened to traffic on July 10th. The bridge includes a 10 foot wide bicycle and pedestrian pathway on that will connect the D&L Trail in Lower Makefield Township, Pennsylvania, with the D&R Canal Towpath in Ewing, NJ, but more work needs to be done before it opens to the public in the second half of 2020.
According to ScudderFallsBridge.com, the path will open when the connecting ramps to the trails are completed. A transparent noise wall should minimize the negative impact of the adjacent traffic lanes.
The Bicycle Coalition has been advocating for a bicycle and pedestrian bridge since the original the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission presented the proposal for a new crossing to the public in 2003.
This had been a parallel effort to the construction of the Ben Franklin Bridge Walkway. The cost of the path was a concern (~$14 million) and it took several years (roughly 2,329 days) to build the political will to include the path. Finally, in April of 2010, the Commission approved the inclusion of the walkway into the design of the bridge.
In past few years several bridge projects have included bicycle and pedestrian bridges that cross major waterways (Ocean City at Rt 52, Garden State Parkway at Beesley’s Point, Goethels and Bayonne Bridges in Northern NJ) have included new bike/ped paths, in all cases the path was the last segment of the bridge to open to the public. The Scudder Falls Bridge path is unique as it will be open before the second span is completed in 2021.