July 20, 2016

“Important” Carter Road Bridge Project Remains Stalled

Mercer County’s project to replace a bridge on Carter Road in Lawrence Township, stalled last week as a result of an order by Governor Chris Christie halting roadwork across the state, has not resumed despite appeals from lawmakers.

According to County Executive Brian M. Hughes, “The contractor for the Carter Road bridge project in Lawrence stopped work last Friday and is awaiting word from the county on when he can resume. The county is awaiting word from NJDOT on when we can have the contractor resume work.”

Carter Road is the proposed detour for NJDOT’s Route 206 bridge project in Princeton that is scheduled to begin in late August or early September. “The Carter Road project is very important because if we can’t fix the Carter Road bridge on time, the state can’t fix the Route 206 bridge on time,” Mr. Hughes added. “Route 206 is a major connector road between Trenton and Princeton and points north, and that bridge over Stony Brook, which is the oldest bridge in the state, is in very poor condition.”

The bridge project was included in Governor Chris Christie’s July 8 order to stop $3.5 billion of “nonessential” road and rail projects in the state, in response to a stalemate in the Senate over which taxes should be cut in exchange for raising the gas tax to fund road work. Mr. Christie had earlier made a deal with the state Assembly to replenish the nearly empty Transportation Trust Fund by raising New Jersey’s gas tax 23 cents a gallon, in exchange for lowering the state’s sales tax from seven to six percent by 2018.

According to Mayor Liz Lempert, who expressed support last week of the County’s efforts to make an exemption and let work on the bridge continue, Governor Christie’s office sent a second notice earlier this week reiterating the stoppage. But no information was provided about when work could resume.