Work on first loop road gets under way in Montgomery

An effort to unclog the intersection of Route 206 with Cherry Valley Road and Princeton Avenue

By: Jake Uitti
   MONTGOMERY — Construction has begun on the Princeton Avenue Connector, the first of many proposed loop roads to be built in the township.
   It is one of two new township roads that have been proposed around Route 206’s intersection with Cherry Valley Road and Princeton Avenue.
   A third, much shorter road also has been proposed near that same intersection, but construction of that link would be handled by Princeton Township.
   The Princeton Avenue Connector — also known as the Sunoco Loop Road, because it swings around the back of the gas station — should be completed in late spring, Township Engineer Gail Smith said. It will connect Princeton Avenue with northbound Route 206.
   Details about the other roads — the Cherry Valley Connector, which runs behind the Ford dealership and nearby properties to connect Cherry Valley Road to southbound Route 206, and the PNC Bank Loop Road, connecting Cherry Valley Road to southbound Route 206 in Princeton Township — are still being negotiated, Ms. Smith added, with Princeton Township handling the PNC Bank Loop Road.
   The Cherry Valley Connector is subject to negotiations and property acquisition between Montgomery Township and Public Service Electric & Gas Co., which owns most of the property where the road will be built, Mayor Louise Wilson said. A consultant was hired to go forward with the Cherry Valley Connector to conduct a detailed design of the road so that PSE&G will know what deeds will need to be transferred to the township, Mayor Wilson said.
   "PSE&G has told us that they would give us that right of way," Mayor Wilson said.
   The Cherry Valley Connector will also go through the McCarthy property, where 25,000 square feet of medical offices are being planned just east of the Woods Edge neighborhood in the township, the mayor said.
   "The loop roads in that intersection are designed to alleviate traffic," Ms. Smith said. "They will provide a different way of making the left turns. All of these proposed roads are designed to free up the intersection" of Cherry Valley Road and Route 206, she said.
   The construction cost of the Princeton Avenue Connector was bid out "in the ballpark of $288,000," Ms. Smith said. There are other costs regarding property acquisition and engineering, she said.
   Loop roads also are proposed for other heavy-trafficked intersections around the Route 206 Wawa and the proposed development around Princeton Airport, but the Princeton Avenue Connector is the first to start construction.