Group seeks to kill Rt. 92
By: Sharlee DiMenichi , Staff Writer
South Brunswick Post, 03/06/2003
Transportation group protesting
A transportation watch group is calling on Gov. James
McGreevey to prevent construction of Route 92, a proposed 6.7-mile N.J.
extension, even if the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approves the
project next month.
The corps is conducting an environmental review of
the project because building Route 92 would require filling in wetlands.
federal Environmental Protection Agency opposed Route 92 in 1998, while those at
the state Department of Environmental Protection
issued permits for it in
1999. The Army Corps of Engineers stepped in to resolve the conflict and is
expected to release its Environmental
Impact Statement in
According to the Tri-State Transportation Campaign's online
newsletter Mobilizing the Region, the proposed roadway would
sprawl, and suburban over-development by encouraging building near its four
exits. The spur, which would connect the N.J.
Turnpike with Route 1 at Exit
8A, falls inside a zone where the governor wants development halted, according
to the newsletter.
Under the anti-sprawl plan Gov. McGreevey announced in his
January State of the State address, much of southern Middlesex County
inside a no-development zone, according to the DEP Web site. Members of
the Tri-State Transportation Campaign see a green light
from the corps as an
opportunity for the governor to implement his plan to curb
"We think it's a
sprawl-inducer and it's a good test of his sprawl agenda," said Kate
Slevin, spokeswoman for the Tri-State
Slevin said the highway would attract commercial construction. "That's just
calling out for development," Ms. Slevin said of Route 92.
Gambatese expressed similar opposition to the spur. "Not only does it add to sprawl, but it adds heavy
congestion," Mayor Gambatese said.
Mayor Gambatese said the money
required to build Route 92 would be better spent widening Route 1 to permanently
reduce congestion and
create temporary construction jobs.
Gambatese said Gov. McGreevey should oppose the roadway. "I would advise the
governor to reject it if the Army Corps of
Engineers throws it into the
governor's hands," Mayor Gambatese said. Army Corps of Engineers officials said
the agency's goal is to
release the EIS by the end of April, but they are not
certain if it will be finished in time. The report is under review by the
Environmental Protection Agency and the National Fish and Wildlife
A spokesperson for Gov.
McGreevey said the governor would not discuss the impact Route 92 might have on
sprawl until the corps
finishes the Environmental Impact
"There's no sense getting ahead of that process," said
Micah Rasmussen, a spokesman for the governor.