Corps delays Rt. 92 report
By: Rebecca Tokarz , Staff Writer
South Brunswick Post, 05/22/2003
State requests chance to review environmental study.
The federal Army Corps of Engineers announced
this week that it will delay release of an environmental study of the
proposed Route 92 for about three months at the request of state
According to the Army Corps, state officials asked that Gov. James
McGreevey's office, the state Department of Environmental Protection and
the state Department of Transportation have a chance to review the data
in terms of the smart-growth initiatives, Army Corps of Engineer
officials said Wednesday.
The Army Corps said last month that it had expected
the release of the environmental study in May.
"The DEIS statement was about to be released when the
state requested we hold off on it for a number of months," Pete
Shugert, spokesman for the New York district of the Army Corps, said
Wednesday. "We wanted to bring in expertise on land-use and
smart-growth to the table to make sure the EIS is properly structured."
Spokespersons for the Department of Environmental
Protection and the governor's office did not return phone calls
The proposed 6.7-mile, limited-access roadway would
link Route 1 near Ridge Road with the N.J. Turnpike at Exit 8A of the
New Jersey Turnpike. The proposed roadway would cut through the
northern tip of Plainsboro and run east to west through much of South
Brunswick along Friendship Road.
The Army Corps of Engineers is conducting an
environmental review of the proposed road because building Route 92
would require filling in wetlands. The federal Environmental Protection
Agency refused environmental permits for the highway in 1998.
The state Department of Environmental Protection,
however, issued permits for it in 1999.
The Army Corps of Engineers is required to review the
project because of the disagreement.
The Army Corps reviewed the project and determined
that an environmental impact statement was necessary because the road
could have environmental impact and that an environmental impact
statement was required.
New Jersey Turnpike Authority spokesman Joseph
Orlando said Wednesday he received a letter from the Army Corps of
Engineers dated May 19 that said the project was on hold for three
months and could be released in July or early August.
"The Department of Transportation, Department of
Environmental Protection and the governor's smart-growth group are
looking to make sure that all land-use, environmental and
transportation issues are adequately addressed," Mr. Orlando said.
Mr. Orlando said the delay will ensure that all
discoveries made in the study follow the governor's smart-growth
"We're making sure that all plans and recommendations
of are of the standards of smart-growth," he said.
Mr. Orlando said the letter was brief and did not say
who was wishing to hold back the release of the study.
Township Deputy Manager Geoff Urbanik said he was
pleased to hear about the delay of the DEIS to get additional
information on land-use from the other entities.
"When you consider land-use and smart-growth, Route
92 isn't it," he said Wednesday.