Gov. asked to use 92 cash for turnpike
By: Joseph Harvie, Staff Writer
South Brunswick Post, 12/09/2004
Officials say Route 92 not needed, save funding for turnpike
State Sen. Peter Inverso and
State Assemblyman Bill Baroni sent a
joint letter Tuesday to Gov.
Richard Codey urging him to use
funding for Route 92 on the recently announced N.J. Turnpike expansion project.
Gov. Codey announced on Dec. 1 that he was going to extend the "car
only" and "truck and car" lanes from on the N.J. Turnpike for 20.1
miles from Exit 8A to Exit 6. The governor said he hopes to have the
project completed by 2011 when the Pennsylvania Turnpike is expected to
complete an interchange with the N.J. Turnpike.
In the letter, Sen. Inverso and Mr. Baroni, both Republicans from
District 14 which includes South Brunswick, thanked the governor for
advocating the widening of the turnpike.
They said the project would ease the
traffic on the turnpike at Exit 8A and would help alleviate truck traffic on U.S. Route
They also urged the governor to use
money earmarked for Route 92 to pay for the project. Doing that,
they said, could eliminate the need
to increase tolls on the turnpike.
"Our commuters are already paying
enough in tolls and the construction resulting from this
expansion will create delays and inconveniences for many drivers. A large increase in tolls would be an unfair
addition to a tough commute," the letter said.
Mr. Baroni and Sen. Inverso also said that Route 92, a proposed 6.7-mile toll
road that would run from Turnpike Exit 8A to the intersection of Route
1, would not alleviate traffic in
the area and would destroy wetlands
and some of the last open space in
Mr. Baroni and South Brunswick Mayor Frank Gambatese said more than $270 million has been set aside
for Route 92.
"Route 92 will not alleviate traffic.
In fact, studies have shown that thousands
of additional vehicles will use Route 1. We've talked with school bus drivers who dread driving across Route 1 and parents who fear crossing the highway when
taking their kids to soccer practice," the letter stated.
Mayor Gambatese said Tuesday
night that the township is compiling information to send to Gov. Codey
that officials hope will prove that
Route 92 is not needed and the funding
for the project could be used to help other transportation projects
in the area.
"We are setting up a packet to send down to him that will ask him to
take the money set aside for Route 92 and really use that money to widen Route 1 and
we will extend 522 and the turnpike gets widened," Mayor
Gambatese said. "Hopefully this will put Route 92 away for a long time."
Mayor Gambatese said he also would like Gov. Codey hold a forum to discuss alternatives to
The plan to widen the turnpike has local officials and activist groups
hoping that the funds for Route 92 could be used to get the expansion
project off the ground, killing Route 92.
The governor said last week that the widening is needed because of
anticipated growth in the area, and because of Pennsylvania's plan to
link to the turnpike.
"If we don't act, over the next several years traffic growth in New
Jersey, combined with a planned project in Pennsylvania to add
full-access interchange between the Pennsylvania Turnpike and the N.J.
Turnpike, will cause virtual gridlock," Gov. Codey said.
According to a press release issued last week from the Governor's
Office, the expansion could take seven to 10 years to complete. In
addition, the first step of the project would require an 18-month study
to determine a timeline for the project, according to the release.
A state transportation official said Nov. 30 the Turnpike Authority
would pay for the study, which would cost between $8 million and $10