EWING — The toll plaza on the Scudder Falls Bridge crossing into Pennsylvania will open to traffic in July.

Work on the $534 million reconstruction of the bridge, which carries 59,000 vehicles a day on Route 295, started in 2017.  Lanes approaching the the bridge from both sides have been reconfigured and a new toll gantry was built on the Pennsylvania side allowing for highway speed toll collection. Drivers will not slow down or stop to pay their toll.

In July, the bridge will lose it's status as the last major free bridge over the Delaware River

"The bridge will open at least in one direction, meaning from New Jersey to Pennsylvania, on or about Wednesday, July 10. The tolls could start that date but they also might start a few days later. It's likely we'll open the bridge to traffic before tolling will begin," Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission spokesman Joe Donnelly told New Jersey 101.5.

E-ZPass users will pay a toll of $1.25 while non-E-ZPass users will have their license plate photographed under a pay-by-plate program and be sent a bill for $2.60.

A frequency 40% discount will be offered to accounts with the New Jersey E-ZPass Group after 16 toll paying trips on any DRJTBC bridge in a calendar month, reducing the toll to 75 cents. The group includes the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, the Delaware River Port Authority, the Delaware River & Bay Authority, the Burlington County Bridge Commission, the Cape May County Bridge Commission and the South Jersey Transportation Authority

Pennsylvania Turnpike and Port Authority accounts will not be eligible for the discount.

"That's a different system and there's no way for us to compute the discount," Donnelly said.

Looking into New Jersey across the Scudder Falls Bridge into New Jersey
Looking into New Jersey across the Scudder Falls Bridge into New Jersey (DRJTBC)

Before tolling can begin there are a number of components that need to be finished first, according to Donnelly, including the application of a polyester polymer concrete overlay on the surface of the 10,000 tons of concrete that is part of the bridge deck. Donnelly said that will make the bridge more durable.

Work on the Route 29 and Taylorsville Road interchanges needs to be completed along with the approaches to the bridge from the interstate.

"There's still a lot of work that needs to take place but we're in the final stretch. We're aiming to get done in the next seven weeks. People are going to see a lot of work taking place and piece by piece see it all come together," Donnelly said.

Shortly after tolling begins, the new span will carry traffic leaving Bucks County into Mercer County but no firm date is set. The old span will be taken apart and a new span with a walkway will be built downriver.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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