Construction on the Princess Road warehouse is expected to last 12 to 18 months. (Staff photo by Samantha Sciarrotta.)

Construction has started on a 340,000-sq.-ft. warehouse on Princess Road being developed by PSIP Metrix Princess Road LLC. The Lawrence Township Planning Board unanimously approved the site plan over the objections of nearby residents at its Dec. 3, 2018 meeting.

Crews have been out on the site for most of the summer surveying and razing the land. The facility will be located at the bend on Princess Road, near Hub Distributing.

The potential traffic implications of a new warehouse have some locals worried, though. Over the last year, residents of a housing development located on Princess Road near Franklin Corner Road have expressed concern over noise and diesel exhaust pollution that could accompany increased truck traffic.

Residents in the Gatherings at Lawrenceville, a 55-plus community, have been expressed their concerns at a number of planning board meetings, citing past problems with trucks in their community generated by existing businesses on Princess Road.

The Gatherings Homeowners Association president James Loper presented a petition at a planning board meeting last November, citing previous incidents with tractor trailers that included landscaping, signage and fire hydrant damage near the roundabouts on Princess Road in the development.

The Gatherings sued the planning board after it approved the facility’s application in December. That suit has since been withdrawn, said township manager Kevin Nerwinski.

One of the warehouse’s conditions of approval states that trucks will not be permitted to access or leave the facility through The Gatherings. At a planning board meeting last October, Nerwinski also suggested asking businesses to stagger their deliveries or adding signage and increasing police presence on Franklin Corner Road.

Some residents, though, would rather see Princess Road blocked off. In that case, the only access to commercial buildings on the road would come from Princeton Pike.

Nerwinski said Princess Road will be closed off from Franklin Corner Road once development of the warehouse is completed in order to prevent trucks from traveling through the neighborhood. The township will then study the impact of the road closure.

“Hopefully, this will work, but we will not know until it is done,” Nerwinski said. “If the closing of the road is causing other traffic issues in the area, we may have to reopen the road.”

Access to the warehouse will be provided through two driveways that will connect with Princess Road at the driveways for 9 and 11 Princess Road, creating a four-leg intersection.

Lawrence municipal engineer James Parvesse said construction is estimated to last 12 to 18 months.