Turnpike officially cancels Route 92 project

By: Joseph Harvie, Staff Writer
South Brunswick Post, 12/04/2006

The N.J. Turnpike Authority has withdrawn applications for wetlands permits for the proposed toll road.

After years of debates, studies and engineering reports, the N.J. Turnpike Authority has officially canceled the proposed Route 92 project.

The N.J. Turnpike Authority, in a Dec. 1 letter to the state Department of Environmental Protection, said it has decided to shift its focus from the proposed 6.7-mile limited-access toll road to a planned widening of the Turnpike from exits 6 to 9.

"Now that we are moving forward on the widening project — the largest expansion of the Turnpike since it was built over 50 years ago — we have decided to cancel the Route 92 project," Turnpike Executive Director Michael Lapolla said in the letter.

The letter was sent to the DEP to officially withdraw applications for wetlands and stream-crossing permits needed from the agency to allow it to build the road.

The decision to withdraw permit requests and cancel the project came a year after the Turnpike Authority shifted $175 million of the $181 million set aside for Route 92 to the widening project.

South Brunswick Mayor Frank Gambatese called the Turnpike's decision good news. He said Monday that the end of Route 92 is a victory for the township.

"This is what we've been waiting for, for the past 14 years," Mayor Gambatese said. "Not only has the road been de-funded, the Turnpike is saying, now, not to build the road."

He said that the cancellation of the project would also put about 100 acres in the right-of-way for the proposed road near Friendship Road, back into the hands of farmers. In addition, he said it could free up other land set aside for the project.

"Now they can do some planting, and it frees up the rest of the land that was set aside for the road," Mayor Gambatese said.

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