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