Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 15
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
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Weather Forecast

Impact of Last Month’s Storm Causes Delays in Harrison Street Park Construction

Dilshanie Perera

Borough Engineer Chris Budzinski estimated that the Harrison Street Park Construction project is about 60 percent complete, with final paving and landscaping on the docket for the upcoming weeks.

“We stopped construction in mid-December, and hoped to start up again in mid-March,” Mr. Budzinski told Borough Council and members of the public at a recent meeting. He was responding to a question by Clifford Zink, who asked about the status of the park.

The March 13 storm felled nine large trees that could not be cleared because the amount of water from the deluge and other recent rains prevented heavy equipment from being brought into the park. In the interim, work was being done by hand to clear brush and other debris, Mr. Budzinski said.

“We are now in the park cleaning up the fallen trees,” Mr. Budzinski noted in a recent e-mail.

Barbara Trelstad of Borough Council suggested also pruning some of the remaining trees and putting together an understory tree planting plan.

Council President Andrew Koontz noted that “fortunately for us — and this was just dumb luck — the trees did not fall on any of the installations, so we didn’t take any loss that way, besides the loss of time.”

While the play equipment and other recently installed objects were not damaged by falling arboreal material, some of the design elements in the park were being integrated with the position of a few of the felled trees, and would thus have to be reworked somewhat, Mr. Koontz observed.

On a positive note, “a lot of the berming and water directing measures put in place so far seem to have worked,” he added.

Borough Council approved renovations to Harrison Street Park last September, awarding the $510,734 contract to JC Landscape Construction Management. Edgewater Design consultants, friends of the park, and Borough staff collaborated to determine the key design elements prior to the contract being offered for bid.

Water drainage problems and the presence of outdated play equipment were the previous problems facing Harrison Street Park, which prior to the recent renovation had not been overhauled in 40 years.

Mr. Budzinski said that the expected completion date was “hard to predict,” but that the end of May is a likely possibility. “Time will tell.”

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