It's still 'no' on Route 92
By: Joseph Harvie, Staff Writer
South Brunswick Post, 11/16/2006
Council OKs resolution opposing proposed road
The Township Council said Tuesday it
is not softening its stance on Route 92 and adopted a resolution
opposing the proposed highway.
The resolution restates the township's long-standing opposition to the
proposed 6.7-mile limited access toll highway. The road would run from
N.J. Turnpike Exit 8A to Route 1 at Ridge Road.
The resolution is the township's response to the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers' Final Environmental Impact Statement, released Oct. 5 on the
According to the FEIS, Route 92 was the only alternative that met the
project's goals, which was to get traffic from Route 1 to Exit 8A,
while others, such as widening Route 1, partially met the project's
goals. The study did not take into
account the extension of Route 522 from Route 130 to Ridge Road near
Route 535, which South Brunswick officials say will make Route 522 a
As for the environmental impacts of Route 92, the majority of wetlands
affected by the project would be in the Devil's Brook wetland complex,
according to the report, which is part of a 1,650-acre forested area in
South Brunswick and Plainsboro.
The proposed Route 92 would cross the southern half of the Devil's
Brook wetland area, and would require filling 12 acres of wetlands. The
road also would cross the northern portion of the Plainsboro Preserve.
South Brunswick also had Michael
Gerrard, an environmental attorney from New York, write a letter in
response to the FEIS.
The township put Mr. Gerrard on retainer for $10,000 in 2000 to help
fight the proposed highway, which would run through woodlands and
wetlands in the southern section of the township and end at Ridge Road,
which leads to the historic village of Kingston.
The Army Corps was commissioned to review the road because state and
federal environmental agencies could not agree on whether permits
should be issued. The state Department of Environmental Protection
issued permits, but the federal
Environmental Protection Agency rejected them, saying other, less
intrusive alternatives exist.
The final report did not make a recommendation on whether Route 92
should be issued federal environmental permits. Army Corps officials
say a recommendation will not be made
until after the public-comment period closes, 5 p.m. today
(Thursday), and the comments can be evaluated, probably sometime in 2007.
The South Brunswick resolution states that the FEIS makes the case for widening of
Route 1 in South Brunswick from a four-lane to six-lane highway.
In addition, the resolution states
that the FEIS narrowly defined the Route 92 and says "the purpose of
building Route 92 is to build Route 92."
The resolution also states that the
FEIS defines Route 522 as a "secondary road."
The township said that Route 522 is a
four-lane highway, that once completed would run from Route 535 to
Route 1, and is a viable alternative to Route 92. Work on the final phase of Route 522 from
Route 130 to Route 535 should begin next year, according to
Franklin Township and Hopewell
Borough, two towns that have long opposed Route 92, adopted similar
resolutions, Mayor Frank Gambatese said.
Steve Masticola of the citizen's group No-92 said that the Franklin adopted its resolution
unanimously, but there was on dissenting vote in Hopewell Borough by
Councilman David Knights, who also works for Princeton Forrestal, the
business arm of Princeton University, which has long supported the road.
Mr. Knights was quoted by the Hopewell
Valley News, a sister publication of the South Brunswick Post, as
saying "Even South Brunswick is softening its stance," on Route 92.
Mayor Gambatese said that he would
send a letter to Mr. Knights personally and the council would send a
letter to the Hopewell Borough Council stating the township has not
shifted in its stance against the proposed highway.
"We will do whatever it takes to stop
Route 92 from getting built," Mayor Gambatese said.
Rocky Hill, Montgomery, Hopewell
Township, East Amwell, Griggstown and East Millstone have gone on the
record in opposition to the proposed road. Princeton Township
and Borough, Cranbury, Monroe, Plainsboro, East Windsor and West
Windsor have supported the road's construction.
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