Witherspoon Street Improvements Project
The first phase of the Witherspoon Street Improvements Project began at Nassau Street and ended at Green Street.
This phase of the project has come to a close.
The construction began in May 2022 and was completed in June 2023.
Phase 1 of the Witherspoon Street Improvements Project transformed the roadway through the business district into a more pedestrian-friendly, calmed streetscape. It included the transformation of the block between Nassau Street and Spring Street into a one-way, single lane local street with a service lane for deliveries and alternative uses, and widened sidewalks. The roadway and sidewalks were constructed with concrete pavers to enhance the pedestrian feel. North of Spring Street, the widening of the sidewalks continued with concrete pavers while the roadway reverted to two-way with a new asphalt pavement. The project was completed with pedestrian-level street lighting and street trees in landscaped beds. A new traffic signal with an all-pedestrian crossing phase was installed at the Paul Robeson / Wiggins / Witherspoon intersection, as well.
The second phase of the Witherspoon Street Improvements Project starts at Green Street and ends just north of Leigh Avenue.
Construction of underground sanitary and storm sewers, new curbing, sidewalks, curb ramps, driveway aprons, and widening of Witherspoon Lane were completed in late 2023. Construction will recommence in late March 2024 to install raised crosswalks and complete final paving.
Construction by S. Brothers, Inc. began in June 2023 and is expected to be completed in May 2024. S. Brothers will be constructing the raised crosswalks in late March and early April, with final paving once those are completed.
Phase 2 continues the improvements to transform the roadway into a more pedestrian-friendly, calmed streetscape. Wider sidewalks, a slightly narrower roadway, curb extensions (bumpouts), raised crosswalks, street trees, and pedestrian-level lighting provide for a safer pedestrian and bicyclist experiences. In recognition of this phase being through the historic Witherspoon-Jackson Neighborhood, the sidewalks have been constructed as concrete lined by concrete pavers, transitioning from the full paver sidewalks in Phase 2 to the full-width concrete sidewalks in Phase 3.
The third phase of the Witherspoon Street Improvements Project starts just north of Leigh Avenue and ends just south of Valley Road. Within the limits of this phase are Community Park Elementary School, the Municipal Complex, including the municipal building and firehouse, Princeton Public Schools offices and bus depot, Community Park South and the community pool, and several businesses and residences.
Following a project walk-through with key stakeholders and a meeting with the Witherspoon-Jackson Neighborhood Association on April 1, 2023, design was completed and Princeton awarded the construction contract to Earle Asphalt Company in December 2023. Construction will begin in early March 2024. A community preconstruction meeting was held on February 20, 2024 to provide residents and businesses with an overview of the project, introduce the project team, and discuss the schedule and traffic management. The presentation delivered at that meeting is available here.
Construction is scheduled to begin on March 4, 2024 and be completed by Thanksgiving. The project will be completed in stages:
- Stage 1 will include construction of sanitary and storm sewers, curbing and sidewalk, and the rain garden along the west side of Witherspoon Street. A portion of the sanitary sewer on Birch Avenue is included in this stage. This stage is expected to take up to 4 months.
- Stage 2 will include the same work on the east side of Witherspoon Street. This stage is expected to take up to 3 months.
- Stage 3 will see the construction of the curb extensions and raised crosswalks. This stage is expected to take approximately one month.
- Stage 4 will be final paving. This stage is expected to take approximately 3 weeks.
Phase 3 is similar in purpose to Phase 2 and continues the improvements to transform the roadway into a more pedestrian-friendly, calmed streetscape. Wider sidewalks, a slightly narrower roadway, curb extensions (bumpouts), raised crosswalks, street trees, and pedestrian-level lighting provide for a safer pedestrian and bicyclist experiences. In recognition of this section of Witherspoon Street’s importance to elementary school students, raised crosswalks at Guyot Avenue and Henry Avenue are being constructed to connect the residential neighborhoods to the east with an 8’-wide shared-use sidewalk on the west. This will allow students to more safely walk or bike to and from Community Park School. A third raised crosswalk will be constructed just north of the firehouse to slow traffic to the 20 MPH speed limit on Witherspoon Street.
A demonstration roadside rain garden is being constructed between the municipal building parking lot and the street that will be fed by stormwater runoff from the street. Bald cypress trees will supplement the rain garden plants in this community garden.