A project to widen and improve the Harrison Street-Route 1 intersection began on July 25 and will continue until winter, but is not expected to interfere with traffic flow. According to the state Department of Transportation, work will be done overnight only.

The overall plan is to improve safety and reduce congestion at the intersection by widening Harrison Street eastbound to include a new dedicated right-turn-only lane.

Harrison Street currently features only one lane at the intersection, which leads to traffic backups during peak commuter hours. The new lane will allow drivers on Harrison Street to turn south onto Route 1. This leaves the current lane open for northbound drivers.

The DOT said that the $797,000 project will also allow for easier traffic flow to and from the new University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro, which will open less than a mile from the intersection in 2012.

Additional work includes paving and striping, modifications to the traffic signal, utility relocations, and upgrades to the existing curb at the intersection. Route 1 will not be affected during construction, the DOT said.

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