McGreevey awaits report from the Army Corps of Engineers

South Brunswick Post, June 13, 2002:

Gov. James McGreevey is going to wait for a report from the Army Corps of Engineers before deciding whether or not he supports Route 92.

The New York District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said in May that the release of its long-awaited environmental impact study of Route 92, a proposed 6.7-mile, limited-access toll road linking Route 1 and N.J. Turnpike Exit 8A, will be delayed until September. The report will focus on the potential effects the spur will have on the area.

Department of Transportation spokesman Micah Rasmussen said the governor will not take a side on the issue despite receiving a letter two weeks ago from several local mayors, including Debra Johnson of South Brunswick, urging him to oppose and essentially halt the project.

Route 92 has been vehemently opposed by officials from South Brunswick, Franklin, Montgomery, Manville, Hillsborough, the Hopewells, Pennington and Rocky Hill. The road, however, has been supported by the governments of Plainsboro, Cranbury, Monroe, West Windsor and the Princetons.

"We're eagerly awaiting the results of the report just like everyone else involved," Mr. Rasmussen said. "It wouldn't make sense
to make any kind of statement now. It would be premature."

The environmental impact study has been in the works since February 2000, when the Army Corps' New York District office concluded that the
road could have environmental impacts and that an environmental impact statement was required.

The Army Corps became involved after the federal Environmental Protection Agency rejected a permit request from the Turnpike Authority nearly four years ago that would allow it to fill some wetlands along the highway's proposed route.

EPA representatives said at the time, and during Army Corps hearings on the project, that Route 92 would cause significant environmental impacts and that other, less intrusive alternatives existed.

The state Department of Environmental Protection issued its own environmental permits several months later, triggering the review by the Army Corps.