The New Jersey Department of Transportation will host a public information session from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 19, at Monument Hall in Princeton to review plans for replacing the Alexander Road Bridge over the Delaware and Raritan Canal. The bridge is located within the Delaware and Raritan Canal Historic District, the Camden and Amboy Railroad Branch Line, and Princeton Basin historic districts. The public information meeting is the forum for providing public comment on issues related to the protection of cultural resources and the New Jersey Register of Historic Places Act.
Residents will be able to review exhibits for the proposed project, ask
questions, and discuss concerns with NJDOT representatives. Representatives from Mercer County will also attend the meeting to discuss a separate, adjacent project on Alexander Street that will be completed at the same time. The county is coordinating the replacement of the adjacent bridge across the Stony Brook,and the replacement of a small culvert near the Metro North restaurant.
The bridge, located on the border of West Windsor and Princeton, is under state jurisdiction. Constructed in 1948, the three-span, simply supported, timber stringer bridge carries a timber deck overlaid with asphalt and rolled steel beams below a 6-foot wide timber sidewalk. The bridge has one travel lane in each direction and no shoulders, and is currently open to traffic with a 20-ton vehicle weight restriction.
According to the NJDOT structural evaluation and bridge management unit, the overall condition of the bridge is poor due to condition of the substructure, and the bridge has inadequate deck geometry.
The NJDOT’s plan is to replace the existing bridge with a single-span bridge consisting of a concrete deck supported by galvanized steel beams founded on reinforced concrete abutments. The outer edge of the structure and concrete wingwalls will feature a wood façade. The new roadway configuration would be two 12-foot lanes, two 5-foot shoulders, and two 5-foot wide timber sidewalks with concrete curbs.
Construction staging for the bridge replacement will be coordinated with Mercer County. Alexander Road near the bridge will be closed for about eight months while the county project and the bridge replacement project take place. The projects are expected to begin in the summer of 2019 and be completed by spring of 2020. Traffic will be detoured on to Faculty Road and Washington Road during the project.
The estimated cost of the bridge replacement project is $3.5 million.
If you can’t attend the meeting, send your comments about the project to: Kimberly Nance, Regional Manager, New Jersey Department of Transportation Community & Constituent Relations, PO Box 600, Trenton, NJ 08625-0600 or email Kimberly.Nance@dot.nj.gov.
Editor’s note: Alexander Road will be closed near the bridge from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 18. The closure is unrelated to bridge repairs. The road will be closed for tree trimming.