Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 34
 
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
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Mercer Street Is Once Again Open to Traffic

Dilshanie Perera

Commuters and area residents can breathe a sigh of relief now that Mercer Street is open again. The roadway reopened to vehicular traffic last Friday at 3 p.m., just over six and a half months after work began.

Borough Engineer Chris Budzinski said that while the “real test” would be the “first couple of weeks in September when school starts,” he anticipates the reopening to have the overall effect of lessening traffic, particularly at the intersection of Nassau, Mercer, and Stockton Streets, Bayard Lane, University Place, and Route 206.

Regarding reduced traffic, Mr. Budzinski said, “I personally noticed it during the last two days going to work, and while it could be coincidental, with many people taking vacations in late August, even leaving the office last night, there was hardly any traffic on 206 going south.”

Minor work will be ongoing over the next few weeks, and will include laying down some sidewalk, replacing topsoil and reseeding, finishing curbing, and restoring permanent signage.

Mr. Budzinski suggested that such work should not necessitate the blocking of the road, but that in a “worst case scenario” the final portion of the project could be completed by enacting a few single lane closures after rush hour.

The Mercer Street reconstruction project began in February and involved the complete closure of the roadway to through traffic from Nassau Street to Lovers Lane.

The road bed was dug up so that new sanitary and storm water sewer lines could be laid, the travel lane was completely repaved with asphalt, and a complete reconstruction of the cartway was done, Mr. Budzinski said. Additionally, new curbs were put in, and spot sidewalk repairs were made, with the improvements expected to last “20-plus years.” Overall, he characterized the project as going “rather smoothly.”

“The neighbors along Mercer Street were wonderful,” Mr. Budzinski noted, adding that the phone calls received from the neighbors were typical of any road closure scenario. “Several families moved in and out during the reconstruction too, and we worked with them and the moving trucks.”

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