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Princeton Council terminates existing, awards new contract for sewer replacement project

In response to a lack of progress on the Spruce Street/Linden Lane sewer replacement project, the Princeton Council canceled its contract with Integrated Construction Utilities of New Jersey and awarded a contract for some of the work to another contractor.

The Princeton Council approved the termination of the contract with Integrated Construction Utilities and also awarded a new contract for $230,068 to S. Brothers Inc., which is based in South River, on an emergency services basis at a special meeting Nov. 23.

S. Brothers Inc. was hired to complete paving and related work on Spruce Street, which was torn up by the former contractor, in time to prevent further damage to the road surface and residents’ driveway aprons resulting from the winter freeze-thaw cycle.

The Princeton Council signed an agreement in May 2019 with Integrated Construction Utilities of New Jersey for the sewer replacement project, Municipal Attorney Lisa Maddox said. About 40% of the work on the project is incomplete, and the company has not made any progress, she said. It is about four months behind schedule.

In a Nov. 2 letter to the contractor, Municipal Engineer Deanna Stockton disputed allegations that the town had delayed progress on the job – specifically, work change orders. The contractor is obligated to keep working, even if there are outstanding claims and issues between it and the town, she wrote.

“Any and all delays on this project since the ‘notice to proceed’ was issued (on Nov. 7, 2019) is due to Integrated Construction Utilities of New Jersey’s own actions and inaction on this project,” Stockton wrote.

“(The contractor) has failed to prosecute work on this project with any regularity and consistency, and without any adherence to project milestones. Accordingly, Princeton intends to terminate this contract and pending termination, remove certain work from this project within three days hereof due to safety concerns,” she wrote.

The project calls for replacing the sanitary sewer main and make repairs to the laterals – pipes that connect houses to the sewer main; storm sewer pipe and inlet repairs; gas main and service replacements by Public Service Gas & Electric Co.; and roadway resurfacing and sidewalk replacement on Spruce Street.

The same work is to be performed on a portion of Linden Lane, between Nassau Street and Hamilton Avenue. On the rest of Linden Lane, between Hamilton Avenue and Henry Avenue, the work is limited to the sanitary sewer main and replacements and repairs to the laterals that connect the houses to the sewer main; and roadway resurfacing.

The Princeton Council awarded a $2.7 million contract to Integrated Construction Utilities of New Jersey in May 2019, and work began in October 2019. Work was halted for a winter shutdown, and then suspended in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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