It was worth the wait.
The long dreamed about shared-use Scudder Falls Bridge Pathway finally became reality this past week and people who have used it have given it great reviews.
Area runners, cyclists and hikers have been waiting for this to be completed since the upstream side of the bridge opened on July 10, 2019.
A number of Bucks County Roadrunners Club members gave the pathway a test run on Saturday morning and came away impressed.
After all, it’s one of a kind. It’s really the only bridge spanning the Delaware which can handle bicyclists riding and pedestrian traffic moving at the same time.
“It’s a really nice causeway,’’ said Bill Schaffling of BCRR. “The ramps on both sides were really well done. It creates new running loops for the club runners and a lot of options.’’
According to information posted on the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission website, the bridge walkways and ramps are 10 feet-wide with accompanying 4-foot-6-inch railing heights that meet Federal Highway Administration standards for integration of pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
In addition, the new shared–use facility makes Scudder Falls the only river crossing in the Commission’s 20-bridge system where bicyclists can pedal across without dismounting. Fifteen of the Commission’s bridges currently provide some form of pedestrian access. However, for safety, liability and logistical reasons, bicyclists must dismount and walk across these existing walkways.
Schaffling points out that while the pathway is wide, cyclists should use caution when pedestrian traffic approaches. It’s pretty much the same etiquette employed on the canal paths,
At last Thursday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, three cyclists from the Anchor House charity led the way. In the ensuing days, lots of other cyclists have given it a trial run.
“It’s similar to the one in Ocean City, N.J.,’’ Schaffling noted. “I haven’t had any problems. On the Scudder Falls ramps they’ve painted lines to separate the sides, which I think will help. The sightlines are good, you can see pretty far. I don’t think you want to be riding fast.’’
Other particulars regarding the new 0.86-mile shared-use path:
>An access ramp and concrete path extension to the D&R Feeder Canal towpath on the New Jersey side and another to the Delaware Canal towpath on the Pennsylvania side.
>Four scenic overlooks on the bridge walkway and access ramps.
>A recently installed pedestrian bridge to facilitate safe crossings of pedestrians and bicyclists over the Delaware Canal.
>The 1799 House – a former stone residence that was adaptively re-used to serve as a trailhead comfort station in close proximity to the Delaware Canal towpath. A ramp provides access to this facility in compliance with the American Disabilities Act.
>Benches and a bicycle rack outside the 1799 House.
>An interpretive display consisting of one granite block and a bearing from the first Scudder Falls Bridge that was constructed in 1959 and removed from service in 2019.
>A 127-space park-n-ride lot near the intersection of Taylorsville and Woodside roads in Lower Makefield.
Joe Boyce, who coordinates the club’s Saturday morning runs, looks forward to creating more loops along the river.
“It’s a great structure,’’ he said. “It’s wide but you want to go slow on a bike. There could be runners and other cyclists. I think it’s a great addition to the paths on the Pennsylvania and Jersey sides. It just gives us so many options of how we can run.’’
>Local runners shine at Philly Marathon
After a year off for the pandemic, the Philadelphia Marathon returned this past Sunday with a bang.
Bucks County runners celebrated the big day with some fine performances.
Courtney Woodfield of Newtown and Tom Pellechio led the way with some strong age-group finishes.
Woodfield, 48, placed fifth in the women’s 45-49 division with an excellent time of 3:20.01. Pellechio, 66, earned an eighth-place rank in the 65-69 bracket with an equally brilliant 4:07.48.
Other top-50 age-group finishes on the women’s side included Judy Wonderly’s 4:48.13, giving the Quakertown resident a fifth-place mark in 65-69 competition; Yardley’s Eileen Mannix running 4:14.35 to notch 12th in 60-64; Doyletown’s Xiaobing Hou taking 37th in 45-49 in 3:41.50 and Southampton’s Tammi Critelli placing 39th in that bracket at 3:42.29; Bensalem’s Diane Berberian, 29th in 60-64 with a 5:17.36.
Men’s top-50 age-group times:
>30-34: Austin Darigo, Warminster, 48th, 2:54.46.
>40-44: Kevin McHale, Feasterville, 50th, 3:13.36.
>55-59: Jim Larson, Langhorne, 37th, 3:28.42.
>60-64: Feng Qiu, Doylestown, 35th, 3:50.01.
>65-69: Ray Braun, Doylestown, 34th, 5:17.09.
Congratulations to all.
Customers Bank Thanksgiving Day 5-Miler/5K, 9 a.m., Langhorne. Contact www.runningintheusa.com
Doylestown Jingle Bell Turkey Trot 10K/5K, 9 a.m., Doylestown. Contact www.runningintheusa.com