$1.6 Million Allotted For Road Repair; Harsh Winter Blamed
The warming trend that has brought area temperatures well into the 50s this week could almost be enough to make residents forget the brutally cold winter that is, technically, still upon us.
Drive on any portion of the 100 miles of roadways in Princeton Township and you can get a swift reminder of the havoc wreaked upon area roads this winter. Potholes, cracks, and crevices plague the area and have prompted the Township to launch a $1.6 million dollar emergency road-repair project.
"Many of the roads are in very, very poor condition," said Robert Kiser, the Township engineer. Some roads will be repaired by the Public Works Department and others by private contractors, but all of the roads specified "are in distress," he added.
Mr. Kiser pointed to eight miles of roadways and specifically referenced the condition of seven roads that highlight the gravity of the Township's problem: Mt. Lucas Road, which was described as being in "terrible" condition; Old Orchard Road; Terhune Road between between Mt. Lucas and Harrison Street; a stretch of Harrison between Clearview Avenue and Bunn Drive; The Great Road; and Winfield Road.
Other roads that will require paving include: Abernathy Drive; Arreton Road; Bayard Lane; Broadripple Drive; Carnahan Drive; Deer Path; Duffield Place; Harris Road; Herrontown Road; Hun Road; Hunt Drive; Lambert Drive; Loomis Court; Magnolia Lane; McCosh Circle; Meadow Brook Drive; Oakland Street; Overbrook Drive; Pardee Circle; Parkside Drive; Poor Farm Road; Snowden Lane; and Sycamore Road.
Mr. Kiser also said that various other roadways will be subjected to milling and resurfacing as preemptive measures to avert serious paving projects in the future.
While the cost of road repair can be perceived as staggering, Mr. Kiser said that putting the money up front would save the Township money in the long run.
He added that the project will save Public Works from doing "patch-up" that will only have to be done over again later.
"Patch-up" work is exactly what the Township has had to rely on up to this point. Since Public Works cannot do any permanent repair until warmer temperatures set in, the department established a hotline to identify and repair holes within 48 hours. However, this "quick-fix" method is finally giving way to more permanent methods.
Additionally, the Township has agreed to install a lighted crosswalk with embedded lights at Alexander Street and the Delaware & Raritan Canal tow path. The cost of the crosswalk, which would be similar to the one recently installed on University Place at McCarter Theater, is to be reimbursed up to $100,000 by Princeton University in an agreement reached with the Township last year during the planning stages of the University's Whitman College. The University pledged this money for use of re-surfacing and other safety improvements along corridors that may see more traffic from the eventual increase in students at the University.