Cherry Valley Rd. Improvements awarded “Project of the Year”

Posted on March 5, 2020

Montgomery Township and Princeton have received an award for their cooperative work on the recently completed Cherry Valley Road East improvement project. The Professional Engineers Society of Mercer County (PESMC) selected this project as one of two 2020 Projects of the Year. Montgomery Township Engineer, Gail Smith, PE, CME, CFM, represented the Montgomery Township Engineering Department to accept the award alongside her Princeton colleague, Municipal Engineer Deanna Stockton, PE, CME at a ceremony Saturday, February 22.

Engineer Gail Smith commented upon receiving the award, “It is an honor to share this award with Deanna.  It has been a pleasure working with Princeton and S. Brothers. The success of this project is a great example of how municipalities can work together.  We are glad that the results have been found noteworthy by the society.”

Montgomery collaborated on this roadway widening, bike lane addition, sidewalk construction, and tree planting project with Princeton, its municipal neighbor to the south. The two towns share maintenance responsibility for Cherry Valley Road, which straddles their border.

“I’m really proud of Gail and the Montgomery Engineering Department for their top notch management of this complex road construction project, alongside Princeton Engineering.  Great teamwork, congratulations!” said Montgomery Mayor Sadaf Jaffer.

Awardees/Township Engineers Gail Smith of Montgomery (right) and Deanna Stockton (left) of Princeton.

The joint project improved Cherry Valley Road from 300 feet west of Cherry Hill Road to the Mercer County Bridge at “Jefferson’s Curve” (west of George Drive).  The following improvements were constructed:

  • A 30-foot wide roadway to accommodate on-road bike lanes
  • Belgian block curbing
  • A storm sewer drainage system including inlets and piping
  • A six-foot wide paved sidewalk on the southern side of the roadway, connecting to the existing walkway to the east
  • Tree planting in Princeton open space to mitigate for tree removals along the roadway

The roadway project was awarded by competitive bid to S. Brothers Construction of South River, who began construction in November 2018. The project was substantially completed by September, 2019 when the road was reopened. The nature of the location necessitated various detours and extended periods of road closure, which were minimized as much as possible. The cooperation and patience of the residential neighbors and motorists were appreciated by the Township.


The two municipalities have cooperated over time to make improvement to this roadway in sections, and started working on plans and assembling permits in 2012 for this fourth joint Cherry Valley Road project.

The Engineering Departments from the two towns were recognized at PESMC’s 60th  Annual Awards Banquet held at the Mercer Oaks Banquet Facility in West Windsor, NJ on Saturday, February 22nd.

According to David Wysocki, PE, the Society Chapter’s Awards Committee Chairperson, the project was selected due to its unique design elements and complexity.

He stated, “The selection committee was drawn to this municipal project due to its many design elements and its unique location within multiple municipalities and counties.  Cherry Valley Road was previously a twenty-foot roadway with open ditches on both sides. Now, the thirty-foot wide roadway includes two five-foot bike lanes and a separated porous sidewalk, five reinforced concrete retaining walls, a solider pile wall, and a new underground drainage system with inlets and an inline water quality treatment device – features which minimize environmental impacts. ”

The other project of the year selected by PESMC was the Pulaski Skyway Piers 76 and 77 Replacement, owned by NJDOT, Engineered by Arora and Associates, P.C., of Lawrenceville.

Montgomery Township is a thriving community of just over 23,000 located in Somerset County, New Jersey with a rich history, excellent schools, bucolic setting, diverse recreational opportunities, and a collective commitment to preserving open land and protecting natural resources. It merges rural and suburban lifestyles in a cosmopolitan region.

The Professional Engineers Society of Mercer Chapter is a local chapter of the New Jersey Society of Professional Engineers (NJSPE) and National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE).  Founded in 1934, NSPE strengthens the engineering profession by promoting engineering licensure and ethics, enhancing the engineer image, advocating and protecting PEs’ legal rights at the national and state levels, publishing news of the profession, providing continuing education opportunities, and much more. NSPE serves 45,000 members and the public through 53 state and territorial societies and over 500 local chapters.