BY CHARLES W. KIM
North-South Brunswick Sentinel, May 6, 2004
SOUTH BRUNSWICK — The U.S Army Corps of Engineers’ report on Route 92 is available online.
An electronic version of the corps’ Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS) regarding the Turnpike Authority’s controversial $400 million road project is available to the public on the Township’s Web site.
Residents can download a copy of the 1,200-page report at http://www.twp.south-brunswick.nj.us.
The report is available in a PDF format, which can be read by the Adobe Acrobat Reader program, which can also be downloaded at the site.
The report is also available in paper form at the South Brunswick Library.
A public hearing on the report is scheduled for May 20 at the Princeton Radisson Hotel at Route 1 and Ridge Road in South Brunswick.
The corps took on the study after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency objected to the N.J. Turnpike Authority’s project in 1998.
The project would build a 6.7-mile toll road, connecting interchange 8A of the turnpike to Route 1 in South Brunswick.
The draft report looks at several alternatives to the road, as well as the "preferred alignment" through South Brunswick.
The report states that 12.03 acres of land would be permanently filled for the project, and another 2.9 acres would be filled during construction of the road.
In addition to studying the road’s construction, the report also looked at intersections in the region that Route 92 is believed will benefit.
The EPA objected in 1998 to the state Department of Environmental Protection’s issuing a permit to fill 12 acres of wetlands to build the road.
Under section 404 of the Federal Clean Water Act, New Jersey is one of two states allowed to issue these permits. The EPA, however, can object to a project based on the number of acres to be filled. It exercised that objection in September 1998, sending the application to the Army Corps for a decision.
The corps held a public hearing in 1999 to determine what should be included in the report. The day of the hearing, the DEP issued a permit to the turnpike. That permit, good for five years, expired at the end of last month.
The authority said that it will apply for another permit.