An estimated 2,000 truck loads of crushed concrete and other materials will be hauled away from the AvalonBay construction site on Witherspoon Street as part of a site remediation plan, officials said Monday night.
Starting in about two weeks, 30 trucks will make three trips a day each from the site to haul away materials. The project will take about 26 days, Town Engineer Bob Kiser said. “That’s an estimate, We’re not sure how much needs to be removed,” Kaiser said. “We’re anticipating something in that ballpark.”Kaiser said the trucks are typically 15 to 20-yard trucks. They will take the same route a contractor at the site has used, coming out Witherspoon Street, heading north to Mt. Lucas Road and then Route 206. Construction work at the AvalonBay site was halted in early September when crushed concrete from the former hospital building tested positive for PCBs. AvalonBay informed the state and the town of the results and had further testing conducted. Samples of materials tested negative for PCBs, but metals and chemicals known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were detected that exceed NJDEP residential standards.
The remedial action work plan requires that the site be capped. Capping involves placing a cover over contaminated material. AvalonBay’s remediation plan includes various kinds of caps including concrete slabs, crushed stone, shredded rubber, and one to two feet of clean soil added to the top of the surface in some areas. The surplus stockpile of recycled concrete site material will be removed from the site for disposal.Officials said Monday night that AvalonBay’s plan meets state Department of Environmental Protection’s standards. A few residents who attended the Princeton Council meeting Monday night expressed concerns about soil and ground water contamination. Councilwoman Jo Butler expressed concerns about other demolition projects in town like the old Butler Tract and the former town public works building on Valley Road. “We have exposed piles of materials on an island just across the street. Should we be testing other places?” Butler asked. Princeton Health Officer Jeff Grosser said PCBs were used in concrete from 1930 to 1970. “Realistically they are in concrete all around us,” he said, adding that the levels are consistent with normal levels in the state and that the levels are not of great concern.