Town­ship won’t con­duct I-95/scud­der Falls noise study

The Advance of Bucks County - - YARDLEY-MORRISVILLE AREA - By D.E. Sch­lat­ter

LOWER MAKEFIELD – The board of su­per­vi­sors has de­cided not to have to have the town­ship con­duct its own noise study re­lat­ing to the im­pend­ing A328-mil­lion Scud­der Falls Bridge im­prove­ment project.

In Novem­ber, the su­per­vi­sors had dis­cussed the con­cerns of res­i­dents in three ar­eas on the south­bound side of I-95 which will not be part of the bridge re­con­struc­tion project’s noise-abate­ment pro­gram. rn­der that pro­gram AT.5-mil­lion in sound bar­ri­ers would be erected along the high­way in Penn­syl­va­nia and New Jersey.

The homeowners in those ar­eas want the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Com­mis­sion (DRJTBC), which is in charge of the project, WR fiOO Ln WKe WKUee JDSs DORnJ ,-95 Ln /RweU 0DNe­fieOG wKeUe WKeUe wRuOG Ee nR sRunG EDUri­ers, and had asked the town­ship for help.

Town­ship en­gi­neer Mark Eisold said that he re­cently re­viewed the DRBTC’s noise-study and found that sound lev­els would not be higher than the min­i­mum level re­quired for sound bar­ri­ers to be in­stalled along the in­ter­state. “Noth­ing jumped out of it that was a real is­sue,” he said. (LsROG sDLG Ke FRnWDFWeG IRuU enJLneeULnJ fiUPs sSeFLDOLzLnJ in noise stud­ies and that it would cost the town­ship be­tween A15,000 and A50,000 to con­duct its own study.

Board chair­man Pete Stainthorpe said that the DRTBC study “fol­lowed all the re­quire­ments.

“I don’t see us hav­ing to spend an ex­tra A50,000 for a study,” he ex­plained, not­ing that the town­ship is al­ready comPLWWeG WR EuLOGLnJ WwR new EDseEDOO fieOGs DnG KeOSLnJ IunG the am­bu­lance squad.

In­stead, Stainthorpe said that the town­ship should con­tinue to work with State Rep. Steve San­tar­siero (D-31), who in 2008 pushed the bridge com­mis­sion to add the sound bar­ri­ers along the in­ter­state lead­ing up to the bridge as part of the re­con­struc­tion project.

The DRJTBC de­cided not to add sound walls to the three ex­ist­ing gaps be­cause he Penn­syl­va­nia sec­tion of I-95 will be “widened to the in­side” along the grassy FenWeU PeGLDn sR WKDW WKe WUDI­fiF ODnes wLOO not move any closer to the res­i­dences.

The project is set to be­gin in late 2014 or early 2015 and take three to four years to com­plete. The 4.4-mile im­prove­ment, which is aimed at cut­ting rush-hour con­ges­tion on the bridge, will ex­tend from the Route 332 in­ter­change (New­town By­pass) to the Bear Tav­ern Road in­ter­change in New Jersey (Exit 2).

The ex­ist­ing four-lane Delaware River bridge will be com­pletely re­placed by a sixlane struc­ture (three lanes in each di­rec­tion), along with two aux­il­iary north­bound lanes and one aux­il­iary south­bound lane for en­tryL exLW RI WUDI­fiF.

The bridge will also in­clude a cash­less toll sys­tem.

Also dur­ing the Jan. 16 meet­ing, the su­per­vi­sors said that the de­tails are still be­ing worked out on the scope of the planned au­dit RI WKe finDnFLDOOy-sWUuJJOLnJ YDUGOey-/RweU 0DNe­fieOG (PeUJenFy 8nLW (Y0(8).

Stainthorpe said that he is go­ing to serve as the su­per­vi­sors’ li­ai­son with the am­bu­lance squad, and that he al­ready urged the Y0(8’s ERDUG RI GLUeFWRUs WR EeFRPe PRUe Ln­vROveG wLWK the ser­vice.

The am­bu­lance squad said that it’s fac­ing an an­tic­i­pated A250,000 bud­get short­fall be­cause of lower in­surance re­im­burse­ments and do­na­tions.

The su­per­vi­sors had planned to raise taxes to sup­port the seUvLFe, EuW Ln­sWeDG DJUeeG WR ORDn WKe Y0(8 $125,000 WR cover op­er­at­ing costs, in ad­di­tion to the town­ship’s an­nual con­tri­bu­tion.

,n WKe 2013 /RweU 0DNe­fieOG EuGJeW DSSURveG ODsW PRnWK, an­other A1T5,000 also had been ear­marked to be used on a month-to-month ba­sis, if needed, to help the squad.

Photo pro­vided by the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Com­mis­sion. (Pho­tographed by Ron Saari)

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