September 27, 2017

206 Bridge Project To End on Schedule In Early November

By Anne Levin

The project to replace the bridges that span the historic Stony Brook will be completed on schedule by November 3. Deanna Stockton, Princeton’s municipal engineer, reported the news to Princeton Council at the governing body’s meeting Monday, September 25.

The completion of the project, which began on July 5, is “perfect timing for the half marathon on the fifth,” said Stockton, referring to the annual Princeton HiTOPS Half Marathon, which draws crowds to the area.

Also at the meeting, Council voted to approve a resolution requested by developer J. Robert Hillier (a Town Topics shareholder) to change a developer’s agreement regarding the Waxwood property in the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood. The development on Quarry Street will remain rental with eight units devoted to affordable housing. A more extensive story on the topic will appear in next week’s Town Topics.

Route 206 was first closed in February 2016 due to failure of the parapet and spandrel wall above the north arch on the upstream side of the stone arch bridge. An in-depth inspection of the bridge, which was built in 1792 and widened in 1916, revealed additional problems. The New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT) performed emergency repairs, and the road was reopened to traffic on March 7, 2016 before closing again a year later.

The project includes the replacement of the flood channel bridge, directly adjacent to the stone arch bridge. Work on the two bridges at the same time was done to minimize the duration of the construction and detours. The flood channel bridge was in a deteriorating condition, and is being replaced with a single span bridge to minimize environmental impacts.

The project is located within the historic areas of the Princeton Battlefield/Stony Brook Settlement Village and the Kings Highway Districts.

Stockton also reported that the parking study undertaken by the town is nearing completion. A final public meeting on the study will likely be held the week of October 30.

Mayor Liz Lempert asked Stockton to report on the 24-hour closing last week of a portion of Alexander Street. “A failure in the structure had been found and needed immediate repair,” Stockton said. “The road was actually deflecting under traffic. I spoke with the DOT and they are satisfied with the repair work. With the support of West Windsor and Princeton University, we advised them to look at replacing that structure or doing a more permanent repair when Mercer County replaces the bridge on the Stony Brook in about three years.”

Also at the meeting, Assistant Municipal Administrator Jeffrey Grosser reported that the town is expecting to have a final candidate for the position of animal control officer by the end of this week. Saul Nathan Barson held the job from July 2015 until he was terminated last month.

Barson was arrested in February for allegedly molesting a 13-year-old boy in Bucks County, Pa., and is due to go on trial this fall. Montgomery Township’s animal control officer has been providing services to Princeton while a search has been on to fill the position.