Downtown Road Paving Continues
After what has been termed a surprisingly smooth start to the paving project that had closed down Witherspoon Street for several days last week, work throughout the coming days will continue on adjacent routes.
However, the project has already hit a snag: bad weather. As is the case with any roadwork project, weather conditions need to be ideal, but this week's rain has, so far, proven to be only a minor obstacle to a Wiggins Street project that is slated to be underway by the end of the week. Crews were set to begin milling Wiggins Street from Witherspoon to the driveway at the garage on Monday, but the rain has pushed that work into Thursday and Friday, according to Carl Peters, Borough engineer.
"It should take about a day-and-a-half to do that," Mr. Peters said.
That portion of the project does not include striping, however, which will continue next week. Witherspoon Street has also yet to be striped, with lanes currently indicated by small yellow markers.
The remainder of the Borough portion of Witherspoon Street ‹ from Wiggins to roughly the hospital ‹ will be paved starting next week, with delays expected. "We'll probably start at the hospital and work our way back," Mr. Peters said, adding that while traffic has been light, drivers should seek alternate routes, particularly at midday, when southbound traffic headed toward Nassau Street tends to be congested.
Much of the Witherspoon Street project is being funded through a county improvement initiative where the Borough is responsible for purchasing the striping and paving materials, with the labor carried out by county crews. And while the Borough only has one county road ‹ a section of Elm Road from Route 206 to Rosedale Road ‹ the work can be re-assigned to a different location, as it has been in the Witherspoon project.
Additional Borough projects include the paving of Alexander Street from the Township/Borough line to Dickinson Street. That project is slated to get underway this coming Saturday, weather permitting, but Mr. Peters added that the project is likely to take place on a weekend to preclude major delays, as was the case last year with the -reconstruction of nearby University Place. "We'll try to avoid the rush hour as much as possible," he said.
Mr. Peters remained positive, however, that even with the heavily-travelled downtown, the paving would go smoothly.
"All things considered, I can't think of a better time to be doing this," he said, adding that different complications will arise as the various elements of the project are carried out, but warned that Wiggins Street could cause delays.