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Witherspoon Street to Close Jan. 16 for Princeton Hospital Demolition

hospital demolition
Part of the main hospital building on Witherspoon Street is demolished on Dec. 23.

 

Witherspoon Street will be closed between Franklin Avenue and Birch Avenue in downtown Princeton from Jan. 16 to Jan. 19 for the demolition of the old hospital building.

The street will be closed to traffic 24 hours a day beginning at 7 a.m. on Jan. 16. The street is expected to be opened to traffic again by 7 p.m. on Jan. 19.

Yanuzzi Construction plans to start removing the section of the seven-story hospital building closest to Witherspoon Street beginning Friday morning.  The work will be monitored by town staff.

Depending on weather conditions, Franklin Avenue could be closed between Witherspoon Street and Harris Road, officials said. The Princeton Police Department will staff the road closures and assist residents as needed. People driving in the area should follow the police detours. Residents who live on Leigh Avenue between Witherspoon Street and John Street will be allowed to drive to their homes via Witherspoon Street when it is safe to do so. Residents should park on John Street or in the John Street Municipal parking lot when Witherspoon Street is not accessible.

Other hospital demolition updates:

The removal of the additional soil from the location of the 6,000 gallon #6 heating oil tank and the installation of the new monitoring well is complete. A sample from the monitoring well was taken and test results are anticipated to be available in the next few days. Additional sampling of the well will be scheduled in mid October due to insufficient water in the well to obtain a representative sample now, officials said.

A building permit has been issued by the town to allow for repairs to be completed at the former hospital parking garage. During the repairs, the garage will remain open for limited parking. Three sections of the upper deck have been replaced and additional sections are being prepared for replacement. Repairs will take another six months.

The site continues to be monitored on a regular basis by local officials, state officials, and a consultant.

Avalon Bay is having staff walk through the neighborhood each day, if needed, to pick up litter.

Avalon Bay’s acoustics consultant, Cerami & Associates, continues to monitor noise levels at the site. The Princeton Health Department is working alongside the Mercer County Division of Public Health to provide additional noise monitoring. A temporary sound absorbing wall and sound absorbing blankets have been installed adjacent to where the upper concrete floor deck of the garage is being removed. Avalon Bay is also investigating ways to mitigate noise created by the jackhammering of concrete from the structural beams of the building. This work will not continue until acceptable mitigation measures are taken, officials said. Any noise related complaints should be directed to the Princeton Engineering Department, or the Princeton Police nights and weekends. The Mercer County Health Department and the Princeton Health Department will be taking additional noise measurements as the work proceeds, officials said.

Three residents have reported experiencing a metallic taste in their mouths after walking by the hospital demolition site. The Princeton Health Department is working alongside Whitman Environmental Consulting to investigate these cases. If anyone experiences abnormal health symptoms after being in close proximity to the hospital site, they should contact Princeton Engineering Department as soon as possible. Air quality monitors continue to be checked and have been found to be well below allowable thresholds, officials said.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

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