A week long emergency project on Route 206 in Princeton led to the complete closure of the entire road on Friday.

The New Jersey Department of Transportation has worked all week on installing a concrete barrier on the north and southbound sides of the historic bridge over Stony Brook at Quaker Road near the Hun School, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Jasna Plana Country Club.

Traffic alternated one lane at a time all week but the road was completely closed between Carter Road  and Elm Road on Friday. Traffic was backed up on many alternate routes including Fackler Road, Cherry Valley Road and Princeton Pike.

Lt. Jon Bucchere of the Princeton Police Department said additional damage to the wall developed on Thursday night.

"At some point the condition of the bridge worsened which required the shutdown," Bucchere said. He expected the bridge to reopen by sometime Saturday afternoon or evening. The DOT in a statement Friday afternoon said that "cracks and voids" were discovered during an inspection by engineers in teh the stone arches that support the structure.

According to the DOT, the original problem was a protective wall called a parapet that collapsed along the southbound side and needs to be replaced. Because of the historic nature of the bridge, the work must be done using similar construction methods. It's not known how long the work will take to complete.

Princeton Police offer the following detours

  • For local traffic, vehicles traveling south on Route 206 can utilize Hutchinson Road to Mercer Street to Lovers Lane to avoid the construction.
  • Vehicles traveling southbound on 206 can go down Loves Lane to Mercer Street to avoid the construction.
  • Truck traffic will need to follow the detour signs and take Carter Road into Hopewell then take Rt. 518 back to 206.