New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials today announced the reopening of Route 206 in Princeton this afternoon before the evening commute following the rehabilitation of two bridges over Stony Brook, including the historic Stone Arch Bridge.
Route 206 was closed and detoured in both directions in early July, between Lovers Lane and Carter Road in Princeton, to make permanent repairs to the Stone Arch Bridge, the oldest bridge on a State highway in New Jersey. The bridge was constructed in 1792 and widened in 1916. In February 2016, it was closed for emergency repairs following a partial parapet collapse.
“Rehabilitating the oldest bridge on a state highway in New Jersey is no easy task,” said NJDOT Assistant Commissioner, Capital Program Management & State Transportation Engineer E. David Lambert III. “This rehabilitation, done in coordination with the Princeton Historic Preservation Commission, provided an opportunity to document 18th Century bridge building methods while improving and strengthening the structure using 21st Century techniques.”
The $7.4 million state-funded project rehabilitated the historic Stone Arch Bridge over Stony Brook and replaced the adjacent Flood Channel Bridge on time and on budget. The adjacent Flood Channel Bridge was in poor condition and needed to be replaced, so the work was done at the same time as the Stone Arch Bridge rehabilitation to minimize the impact to traffic.
The project is located within the historic districts of the Princeton Battlefield/Stony Brook Settlement Village and the Kings Highway Districts. NJDOT 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 and construction of the permanent rehabilitation. The project included archaeological monitoring and documentation.
“I’m grateful for the productive and successful collaboration between Princeton and the state across various agencies, especially between NJDOT and the state and local historic preservation offices,” said Princeton Township Mayor Elizabeth Lempert. “And I’m thrilled the project has finished on schedule.”
The project included minor reprofiling of the roadway, drainage improvements, replacement of existing guide rail, slope stabilization, and replacement/relocation of existing utilities.
Separate car and truck detours will be removed and NJ Transit Bus Route 606 will resume its normal route with stops on Route 206. 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.