March 20, 2013

Quaker Road Reopening Is in Sight

After nearly six months of work, the bridge over Stony Brook is almost ready for traffic. This means that Quaker Road will reopen to motorists, freeing up another method of access into Princeton from Route 1. The bridge is scheduled to open April 1, weather permitting.

This is good news for the Historical Society of Princeton (HSP), which runs the restored Updike Farm, located about halfway between Route 1 and Princeton Pike. The HSP held monthly events in October, November, and December at the farm, which was accessible from Princeton Pike but not from Route 1. Attendance was spotty, however, because of the difficulty people had in reaching the site.

“We pretty much shut down for January, February, and March as a result,” said Eve Mandel, director of Programs and Visitor Services. “But we’re keeping our fingers crossed for April 1, which is the date we’ve heard.”

The HSP has planned a number of special events for the spring and summer, once the road is reopened. “We have some Stony Brook walking tours, and also some themed events,” Ms. Mandel said. “We’ll do some picnics on the grounds, and we’re looking to partner with a local restaurants for that. Some things are definitely in the works.”

Built in 1942, the old bridge was deemed “structurally deficient” last August, when it was closed for reconstruction. Work was originally scheduled to be completed by mid-February, but the effects of Hurricane Sandy in October, and persistent heavy rain in December, flooded the work area and caused significant delays.

The work has included demolition and removal of the existing bridge and construction of a new span on the same alignment. The deck has been poured and cured for the new bridge, which will accommodate two 12-foot-wide travel lanes, two four-foot-wide shoulders, and a six-foot-wide sidewalk on the downstream side. The overall length will be approximately 77 feet, five inches.