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Scudder Falls Bridge pedestrian, bicycle path opens to public

Continuous link between two states, Delaware Canal and D&R Canal


A long-awaited transportation project that will benefit safety, physical exercise and the environment was celebrated during a Tuesday, Nov. 16 ceremony in Lower Makefield Township.
Officials from the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission, Pennsylvania and New Jersey and many others held a ceremony to dedicate and officially open the Scudder Falls Shared-Use Path that provides a continuous, safe link for bicyclists, walkers and runners between the towpaths along the Delaware & Raritan Canal in New Jersey and the Delaware Canal in Pennsylvania.
The path includes a 1,587-foot long, 10-foot wide segment of the new Scudder Falls Bridge crossing the Delaware River from Lower Makefield into Ewing, N.J., that will allow a non-motorized crossing of the bridge in both directions and does not reuire bicyclists to dismount at any point.
The path was constructed by the DRJTBC under two separate ventures, the Scudder Falls Administration Building Project and the $570 million Scudder Falls Bridge Replacement project. That undertaking, 17 years in the making and almost five years under construction, is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year, commission Executive Director Joe Resta said.
Officials at the Nov. 16 ceremony said they believe the bicycle/pedestrian path will have a host of benefits and encourage many residents from both states to spend less time driving and more time in the outdoors walking, running and bicycling.
“I’m beyond excited,” Lower Makefield Supervisor John Lewis said. “To be able to walk across the bridge and visit people in Ewing is huge. What a way to kick off Infrastructure Week.”
Giving people the ability to safely cross from one state to the other without climbing into their vehicles is a tremendous achievement, Pennsylvania Transportation Department Secretary Yassmin Gramian added.
“Transportation needs to work for everyone, whether you walk, bike, drive a car or use public transportation,” she said.

“Outdoor recreation skyrocketed during the pandemic, and we want to see those habits continue,” noted New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry Director John Cecil.
The Scudder Falls Shared-Use Path project also includes a new pedestrian bridge over the Delaware Canal and renovation of the commission’s 1799 House in Lower Makefield to include public restrooms for use by those using the path.
Cutting the ribbon to officially open the path was Anne Scudder Smith, the granddaughter of John M. Scudder, who cut the ribbon at the dedication ceremony for the original Scudder Falls Bridge in 1961.
The bridge replacement project includes an entirely new span that adds lanes in both directions, creating a much wider bridge that should allow for much smoother traffic flow, especially during rush hours, officials said.
Among many other elements of the project are the additions of a third lane to both sides of Interstate 295 on the Pennsylvania side of the bridge extending to the Newtown interchange.
“It’s a huge milestone that will dramatically improve the region’s transportation network,” Gramian said.
The new bridge and its associated improvements is the largest replacement project ever done by the DRJTBC, which operates 20 bridges — including Scudder Falls — crossing the Delaware River and linking the two states, Resta said.