New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials today announced the start of permanent repairs to the Route 206 Bridges over Stony Brook in Princeton.
The project consists of a rehabilitation of the Stone Arch Bridge over Stony Brook and the replacement of the adjacent FloodChannel Bridge, located between Quaker Road near the Hun School and the Jasna Polana Country Club. The Stone Arch Bridge is a three-span masonry arch structure originally constructed in 1792 and widened in 1916. It was closed in February 2016 for two weeks for emergency repairs following a partial parapet collapse on the southbound side of the historic bridge.
A precast construction barrier has been in place on both sides of the bridge to protect the compromised parapet since the completion of emergency repairs last year, and a weight limit of 20 tons was put into place with a truck detour, which will remain throughout the permanent repairs.
From 9 p.m. Friday, June 9 until 8 a.m. the next morning, NJDOT’s contractor South State Inc., will close one lane of Route 206 and maintain a single lane of alternating traffic in order to dismantle the stone parapet and secure construction barrier on the bridges.
The bridge now has a posted weight limit of 20 tons and the following truck detour will remain in place for both directions of Route 206:
- Traffic on Route 206 southbound will make a right onto Georgetown Franklin Road/CR 518, a left onto Route 31 southbound to I-95 northbound to Route 206.
- Traffic on 206 northbound will make left onto Carter Road, a right onto Georgetown Franklin Road/CR 518, and a left onto Route 206 northbound.
Later this summer, Route 206 will be closed completely with a detour in place through the end of the year to allow for the reconstruction of the Stone Arch Bridge and the adjacent Flood Channel Bridge. NJDOT will provide details on the closure and detour before it is implemented.
Stone Arch Bridge Rehabilitation
The rehabilitation of the Stone Arch Structure includes dismantling and rebuilding in-kind the existing spandrel walls and retaining walls that are leaning, out-of-plumb and bulging. The existing stone is to be used in the rebuilding of the walls and bridge parapets and a softer lime-based mortar will be used similar to the original construction. The soil fill above the arches will be removed and replaced with lightweight concrete to eliminate water infiltration and increase the durability of the structure.
The character defining features of the structure will be maintained including the existing draping pattern of the parapet across the bridge. The stone parapets will have a concrete core to meet current safety standards, but will maintain the same width and triangular shaped cap as the existing bridge. The parapets will be faced with existing stone and where necessary, additional stone that matches the existing stone.
Flood Channel Bridge Replacement
The adjacent Flood Channel Bridge is in poor condition and will be replaced with a single-span bridge. It is being done at the same time as the Stone Arch Bridge rehabilitation to minimize the impact to traffic. The north abutment for the proposed bridge is to be moved to the south to avoid demolition and excavation in the vicinity of the Worth Mill ruins, which will be protected during construction. Existing salvaged stone will be used to face the abutments to blend in with the environment, and provide a connection to the history of the bridge.
The project also includes minor reprofiling of the roadway, drainage improvements on both approaches to the bridge, replacement of existing guide rail, installation of rip rap for slope protection/stabilization, and replacement/relocation of existing utilities.
The project is located within the historic districts of the Princeton Battlefield/Stony Brook Settlement Village and the Kings Highway Districts. NJDOT has worked very closely with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and Princeton Historical Preservation Committee (HPC) from the beginning of the emergency repair in February 2016, throughout the design process, and will continue to do so during construction with archaeological monitoring and documentation taking place.
NJDOT will be using Variable Message Signs to provide advance notification to motorists of traffic pattern changes associated with the work. The precise timing of the work is subject to change due to weather or other factors. Motorists are encouraged to check NJDOT’s traffic information website www.511nj.org for real-time travel information and for NJDOT news follow us on Twitter @NJDOT_info.