Rt. 522 money is OK'd

By: Joseph Harvie, Staff Writer   
South Brunswick Post, 12/15/2005

Township Council unanimously approved an $8.5 million bond ordinance to pay for construction of the roadway, but expects to get the money back.

Route 522 could be completed by the end of next year now that the township has agreed to borrow more than $8 million to pay for its construction.

The east-west roadway would run from Route 27 to Route 535. It currently runs from Route 27 to Route 130.

The Township Council unanimously approved an $8.5 million bond ordinance Tuesday to pay for the construction of roadway. The vote was 4-0. Councilman Charles Carley was absent.

Township Manager Matt Watkins said Tuesday that construction of the extension is expected to begin in 2006. Township Public Affairs Coordinator Ron Schmalz said Wednesday that the township hopes to have the road completed in 2006.

Mr. Schmalz said that although the township bonded for the money, the township is expected to be fully reimbursed for the road because it is a county road.

The Heller corporation, which has warehouses in the area of the proposed extension, will contribute money to help build certain sections of the road near its warehouses, Mr. Schmalz said.

Mayor Frank Gambatese said the road's construction was an important part of the township's battle against Route 92, a 6.7-mile limited access toll road that would go from the N.J. Turnpike Exit 8A to Route 1 at Ridge Road. About $175 million of the $181 million set aside for the road was recently reallocated to help pay for the widening of the Turnpike between Exits 8A and Exit 6.

He said building Route 522 will help ease traffic that goes through the township.

"It is important that we build this road," Mayor Gambatese said. "I think it will help with a lot of problems we have with traffic in town."

The project has been on the table for about three years and was delayed because the township was addressing concerns of residents about the road's alignment with Fresh Ponds Road at Route 130, which was resolved after meetings between the Township Council and the residents.