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Rendell proposes tolls to rebuild Scudder Falls bridge

Gov. Rendell today announced a $310 million plan to rebuild the Scudder Falls bridge across the Delaware River, a project that will be financed by tolls collected through a public-private partnership.

Rendell said that he and New Jersey Gov. Christie are both urging the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission to immediately assemble a legal team and then put out an request for bids for a private contractor to redo the bridge. The project will include constructing a new bridge, redoing the approaches on both sides of the river, and widening a section of I-95 on the Bucks County side.

Rendell, joined by officials from both states at a rest stop just south of the bridge on I-95, said that the antiquated span is badly in need of repairs, but that neither Pennsylvania nor New Jersey alone could afford the tab.

He said that the reconstruction project, which could be completed by the end of 2012 or early 2013, will require tolls in the range of $1 to $2 per car to be charged only for southbound vehicles.

He said the bridge commission, which will retain ownership of the bridge, will negotiate with the eventual contractor for how much the tolls will be.

Currently, there are no tolls for crossing the Scudder Falls Bridge. There are 28 bridges across the Delaware River linking Pennsylvania and New Jersey, 15 of which charge tolls.