Driving on local roads like Harrison Street, Mercer Road and Quaker Road is not for the faint-hearted these days. Drivers must dodge jagged, deep potholes and the debris left behind by those who failed to avoid hitting the crater-like holes. Ping! Was that your hubcap that just fell off?
Many local roads have been repaired with a temporary fix called cold patch, but even the cold patch is popping out of the roads in places, and the situation could get worse with more winter weather on the way Wednesday night.
Town Engineer Bob Kiser and Infrastructure Director Bob Hough presented a plan to the Princeton Council last night to make permanent repairs to the five local roads that fared the worst this winter. The estimated cost to repair the roads is about $800,000, which includes $50,000 for road prep work and $84,000 for cost overruns.
The top priorities for repairs, ranked by town officials, are:
1. Harrison Street between Hamilton Avenue and Horner Lane ($53,000 to repair)
2. Mercer Road between the Stony Brook Bridge and the town line ($424,000 to repair)
3. Elm Road between Westerly Road and Westcott Road ($61,000 to repair)
4. Quaker Road between the Stony Brook Bridge and the town line ($90,000 to repair)
5. The intersection of Mt. Lucas Road and Terhune Road ($38,000)
“These road improvements are critical,” Kiser said. “Where isolated potholes could be repaired, we have repaired them. But with these roads, it is pothole, linked to pothole, linked to pothole. The repairs need to be done. If not it will result in more costly construction later on. If we just let it go and continue to do patching, we will have one patch leading to another patch.”
Kiser said the streets were slated to be milled and repaved within the next five years anyway. “We need to move things up to poptect the municipality’s investment,” he said.
The council gave Kiser the go ahead Monday night to prepare bid packages for the road repairs. The town will borrow money to make the repairs.
Hough said town officials are also receiving a lot of complaints from residents about River Road and Route 206. “Neither of these roads are in our jurisdiction,” he said. “We’ve been in constant contact with the state and county about repairs.”