Joe Donnelly, PA Department of Transportation, Update on the Scudder Bridge Project

The Club again met via Zoom

with 17 memebrs in attendance … some enjoying a second cup of coffee!

We were luck to have Joe Donnelly

from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation join us virtually and provide an update on the progress of the Scudder Bridge Replacement Project. 

The Delaware River Bridge Commission maintains some 20 bridges which cross the Delaware River.  Unfortunately for our forefathers wuring teh Revolution, none of them were availabllle so American forces had to navigate teh icy river in boats to attack the British at Trenton in 1776.

A high level overview of teh project:

Construction Schedule

Milestone/Activity Date/Status
Project Construction Start Spring 2017
Install temporary trestle upstream of the existing bridge Completed/fully removed
Construct upstream span of the new bridge Completed
Widening (to the inside) of the PA I-295 approach – from Exit 8 (old exit 49) to the bridge Upstream half completed/second phase now in progress
First span of new bridge open to traffic Opened overnight July 9, 2019
Start All-Electronic Tolling (PA-bound only) July 14, 2019
Second span of new bridge open to traffic Late 2021
Estimated Project Completion Early 2022

Joe share the following ore recent updates:

  • Beginning June 1st, fand or approzimately 3 weeks, the ramps from I-295 to and from Taylorsville Road will be closed as work will continue 24/7 to complete the new I-295 overpass and ramps comstruction.  Peopl ewill be detoured via PA Route 332 north to the Washignton Crossing or New Hope Route 202 bridges of south through Yardley to one of the several bridges to Trenton.
  • The Walkway and bike lane on the PA side of teh northern span should be open for sightseeing during this coming summer and teh NJ side in 2021.
  • The second, southern, bridge should be open by August 2021.
  • The entire project was budgeted ag more than $500 million, with $390 milion ofr the bridge construciton.
  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, theproject was shut down for a brief period before a waiver to begin work again was received.

The Club thanksed Joe for his time and wished that he could join us for a subsequent update at a future time.

Issues also duscussed inlcuded:

  • Club donations to the Leukemia and Lymphoms Society
  • Hope Lodge
  • William Dick School
  • The selection for our Neshaminy Student-of-the-Year scholarship and the logistics of making the notification to the student and "presentaiton" during the coroniaaaavirus shutdown.
  • Future fundraisersss, including a Virtual Walk, Major Raffle, Virtual Auction and Golf Outing; all of which could be planned and brought to fruiting over teh next 12-18 months.
  • Schdeuling and additional Zoom meeting on June 24th for the "changing of the guard" when Bob Morris will once again take th epresidential reins from current president Jeff Revak.  Other Officers, Board Members and Committee Charis will besworn in at th at time.
  • Alan recommended that as loong as virutal meetings are the norm, we plan on at least once a month having abusiness-only meeting.
  • A virtual Fundraising Committee meeting is also needed.
  • The Club agreed to pay for a one-yeaar subscription for Zoom so that longer and even additional virtual meetings can be scheduled during, and even after, the COVID-19 Rhelter-in-Place restirctions ar elifted.


Supporting the Bucks County Housing Group‘s Penndel Food Pantry

“Others have questioned if hunger exists in our country; I can tell you that hunger does exist in this country.  For many adults and children, going to sleep hungry is not a threat; it’s a regular occurrence.  And it must end.”

Former USDA Secretary Mike Espy

Despite the County, State and Nation having been in a lock-down and shelter-in-place modes for more than two months, the Rotary Club of Shady Brook has remained proactive in trying to help and support its neighbors in need.

In addition to its several donations through the Bucks County Vet’s Center to provide meals for the families of veterans who have fallen on challenging economic times and donating monies to Doylestown’s shelter for the victims of domestic Violence, A Woman’s Place, the Club has reached out and made a recent donation of $1,000 to the Penndel Food Pantry.

The Food Pantry, located at 349 Durham Road in Penndel, is dedicated to assisting those individuals and families struggling with food insecurity … particularly during this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and the related largest number and percentage of Americans unemployed since the Great Depression.

Both Penndel’s Food Pantry and its sister food pantry in Doylestown are run by the Bucks County Housing Group located in Warminster.  Although housing for the homeless remains its primary focus, the non-profit today dedicates significant resources to these pantries in order to assist those facing daily challenges in feeding their families.

In normal times, the Food Pantry typically services approximately 30 families each day.  However, since the social and economic impacts of the coronavirus began earlier this year, this total has become unpredictable and can spike by a factor of two or three times.  It has also noticed more frequent visits by some families, particularly those with “at risk” members.

As with the homeless shelters they operate, their food pantries have been made safer for both staff and clients … practicing social distancing, the use of masks by all members of the staff and regular cleaning and disinfecting. 

The Bucks County Housing Group had is origins In the mid-1970s when a group of concerned community members noted that there was a growing number of homeless individuals in Bucks County.  Their first homeless shelter in Bucks County was opened in Penndel in 1979, at which point Bucks County Housing Group was incorporated to assist families and individuals on their journey from homelessness to permanent housing.   

Its mission remains to advance the interests of people with low-moderate income and people in crisis through the provision of affordable housing and related social services, and more recently including feeding people through its two food pantries.

Some sobering statistics:

  • 48% of all homeless persons in Bucks County are children or transition-aged youth below the age of 24.
  • 10% of all Bucks County residents are considered "food insecure".  In a county of roughly 630,000 individuals, that's 63,000 citizens living without adequate food. 
  • The number of homeless persons in Bucks County rose by 9% between 2015 and 2016.  
  • ​​The median rent of an apartment of any size in Bucks County in 2017 was $1,780 per month.  To put this into perspective, the median for the state of Pennsylvania is $1,395 per month.
  • In the month of June, 2016, there was one foreclosure for every 884 houses in Bucks County. This number is a more than 10% increase from 2015 at this time.
  • The average age of a homeless person is just 9 years old.  That's a child in only third or fourth grade.
  • The median price for a house in Bucks County in June of 2018 was $339,990.  
  • Roughly 50% of women and children who are homeless in the United States are escaping a situation of domestic abuse. 
  • About 40% of all homeless men are, or have served, in the armed forces.

The good news is that Bucks County Housing Group’s tirelessly efforts have produced some significant results:​

  • It is the largest provider of homeless services in Bucks County.
  • 100% of the families in our Family Permanent Supportive Housing Program achieved permanent housing stability in the fiscal year 2016.
  • Roughly 400 clients are served annually by our Housing Counseling program.
  • In the fiscal year 2016, 553,594 pounds of food were donated to our community food pantries. This equates to $952,000 of food.  
  • Its community food pantries used the donated food to serve 47,689 customers.
  • It impacts the lives of over 57,000​ individuals each year.

The Bucks County Housing Group also partners with two other recipients of the Rotary Club of Shady Brook support … A Woman’s Place and Philabundance.

If interested in supporting the Bucks County Housing Group’s food pantries, you can click on the donate button at its web site (


Just today, we received a letter of "Thanks"  … 

Dear Rotary of Shady Brook,

I hope you are well! Thank you so much for your donation during this time, and thank you for your interest in what we have been doing.

SIncerest thanks,

Nick Parsons