Army Corps announces May 20 Rte. 92 hearing
Oldest unfinished road project in state breathes again
BY Charles W. Kim
North-South Brunswick Sentinel, April 22, 2004
SOUTH BRUNSWICK — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is coming to town.
to a public notice issued by the corps Tuesday, there will be a public
hearing on the controversial Route 92 project next month.
The public hearing is scheduled to take place on
May 20 at the Radisson Hotel Princeton located at the intersection of
Ridge Road and Route 1. According to the notice, the hearing will
consist of two sessions. The first will be from 2 to 5 p.m., followed
by an evening session from 7 p.m. to midnight.
will take comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS) that
the corps started in 1999 dealing with the Turnpike Authority’s
proposed 6.7-mile toll road that will join Exit 8A with Route 1.
as Route 92, the oldest unfinished road construction project in the
state, the estimated $400 million highway would cut across South
Brunswick, filling about 14 acres of wetlands.
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued a permit to fill
the wetlands in 1999 despite an objection by the federal Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA).
Under Section 404 of the Federal
Clean Water Act, New Jersey is one of
only two states in the nation
authorized to grant such permits.
The EPA objected in 1998
because it felt that there were other alternatives to move traffic from
east to west. The EPA cited the completion of Route 522 in the township
as a viable alternative to Route 92.
The Turnpike Authority
took the project over from the state Department of Transportation in
1994 because the state agency had no money to build the road.
idea for the road dates back almost 70 years, when it was first touted
as a "gateway to the shore," connecting Route 33 with Route 206. Since
that time, the road has changed alignments and directions several
times. Now, under the Turnpike Authority, the road is estimated to
carry about 20,000 cars each day, according to Turnpike officials.
the EPA and DEP disagreed on the plan, it was given to Army Corps to
study in 1998. The corps has been working on the DEIS since that time.
According to the notice, a copy of the DEIS will be available for
members of the public to study prior to the hearing.
Authority spokesman Joe Orlando said a copy of the approximately
1,200-page document should be at the township’s library very soon.
Brunswick opposes the project. Officials say the proposed roadway will
only snarl traffic on Route 1 more than it currently is and devastate
the historic village of Kingston.
Plainsboro Mayor Peter Cantu
and officials from Princeton believe the road is needed more to combat
the congestion those towns have on their east-west roads.
This year, South Brunswick placed
about $50,000 in its proposed municipal budget to help fight the