Urges DRJTBC to Cancel Plan to Replace Safe, Free I-95 Bridge with New Tolled Bridge
The Township of Kingwood in Hunterdon County is the latest local government to join Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) in opposition to a plan to replace the safe and free I-95 Scudder Falls Bridge over the Delaware River with a new tolled bridge that would cost an estimated $330 million. Doherty, a long-time critic of wasteful spending practices at the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission, has called for local officials to examine and express their opposition to the unnecessary bridge replacement plan proposed by the bi-state agency.
“The residents of Kingwood should be proud to know that their local government is standing up for them and opposing the imposition of unnecessary tolls and toll increases that would result from the Scudder Falls Bridge project,” said Doherty. “As more local governments stand up and express their disapproval, leaders in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania will be forced to scrutinize the Scudder Falls Bridge project and ask the DRJTBC to justify this seemingly indefensible plan.”
The Township Committee of the Township of Kingwood approved a resolution in a unanimous (3-0) vote opposing the project. The resolution notes that the estimated $330 million cost of the new bridge would “significantly impact the financial resources of the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission, which can result in the need for additional toll increases.”
Furthermore, the resolution calls for “the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission and Governor Chris Christie to halt the proposed demolition and reconstruction of the Scudder Falls Bridge in Mercer County.”
Doherty noted that a separate project to realign I-95 through a direct connection to the New Jersey Turnpike is already underway. Once that connection is completed, I-95 will bypass the Scudder Falls Bridge resulting in a significant diversion of traffic and preventing projected traffic increases that were cited as the main impetus for the bridge’s replacement.
“The more you look at this plan, the more you realize that it serves absolutely no purpose,” added Doherty. “The entire plan was based on the premise that traffic would increase beyond the current bridge’s capacity, but now we know that traffic will actually drop once the I-95 realignment is completed. We will be stuck with an expensive new bridge that few people will cross or pay tolls at, leading to increased tolls at other Delaware River bridges to repay the debt. I urge other local governments to join us in putting pressure on the DRJTBC to put an end to this madness.”