Bank Street road construction project gets underway

Work on the reconstruction project on Bank Street, which is a narrow off Nassau Street and opposite University Place, began last week after several storm-related postponements.LEA KAHN/STAFF
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Work on the reconstruction project on Bank Street, which is a narrow off Nassau Street and opposite University Place, began last week after several storm-related postponements.LEA KAHN/STAFF

The on-again, off-again reconstruction of Bank Street has begun.

Work on the reconstruction project on Bank Street, which is a narrow off Nassau Street and opposite University Place, began last week after several storm-related postponements.

The Bank Street project, which has been in the works for more than a year, calls for replacing the sanitary sewer main underneath the street and replacing the sanitary sewer lateral lines to the homes on Bank Street. An underground drainage system will be installed for stormwater runoff.

The cement curbs will be replaced with granite curbs in front of the houses. The concrete sidewalks also will be replaced. A raised crosswalk will be installed at the intersection of Bank Street and Nassau Street.

The project does not call for installing the utilities underground, as some residents had requested.

Princeton officials said the town looked into burying the utilities underground, but it is expensive. An enormous concrete vault would have had to be installed under the road, and Bank Street is a tight, narrow street.

The sanitary sewer replacement segment will be accomplished first. The sidewalks and curbs will be replaced, and then Bank Street will be repaved.

Earle Asphalt Co., which is based in Farmingdale, was awarded the contract for the job. Earle Asphalt Co.’s bid of $1.4 million was the second lowest bidder, and earned the contract after the lowest bidder – S. Brothers, Inc., which bid $1 million – withdrew because of errors in its pricing.

The third bidder was Z. Brothers Concrete Contractors of Sayreville, which bid $1.7 million.

Municipal Engineer Deanna Stockton had estimated the project to cost $1.5 million. Part of the cost of the project will be offset by a $214,937 grant from the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s municipal aid grant program.

Acknowledging that two of the three bids were below the engineer’s estimate, Stockton said that her office “errs on the side of caution” when it prepares its engineer’s estimate for a job. The goal is to encourage enough competition from among contractors for the job, she said.