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Delays may ease as Washington Road bridge reopens following months-long closure

A path leads into a huge puddle, with trees on both sides.
The towpath after a hard rain.
Justin Cai / The Daily Princetonian

At 1 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 30, cars once again thundered over Washington Road Bridge.

The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) announced that the bridge replacement was complete. NJDOT had announced last Friday that the bridge would remain closed through this week but reversed course on Monday. 

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The bridge, which spans the Delaware and Raritan (D&R) canal, has been closed to vehicular traffic since July 26 because of an emergency bridge replacement project.

The NJDOT press statement noted that construction under the bridge is expected to continue until the end of the year, meaning the bridge will remain closed for pedestrian traffic.

As of 7 a.m. on Oct. 30, access to the canal towpath has also been restricted for pedestrians and cyclists — but is expected to reopen for full access this Friday, Nov. 3.

Pedestrians and cyclists will still be able to use the towpath between Alexander Street (south of Forbes College) and Washington Road (south of the School of Public and International Affairs).

Aside from potentially adding to the traffic during move-in day, the bridge’s closure has posed potential issues for faculty and staff commutes. Additionally, the construction impaired access to facilities for teams such as cross country and rowing as well as some classes that traveled off-site.

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In an interview with the The Daily Princetonian, Reed Marthers ’27 said that the bridge’s reopening will positively affect the freshman seminar she is taking, FRS 115: Decomposing the Science of Composting. The class travels every other week to Princeton University’s own industrial composter, the Sustainable Composting Research at Princeton (SCRAP) lab, affectionately known as SCRAPPY, to collect samples.

“The closure of Washington Bridge made the commute to SCRAPPY much longer as the required detour to Harrison involved going in the opposite direction of the Lab. I am excited for the bridge to be open as it will allow us to more swiftly reach the lab than before,” Mathers said.

Isabel Connolly is a contributing News writer for the ‘Prince.’

Justin Tam is a contributing News writer for the ‘Prince.’

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Please direct any corrections requests to corrections[at]dailyprincetonian.com.

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