Monday, July 12, 2004


Last year, NJ Transit announced plans to build a new park-and-ride lot in Washington Township, Gloucester County. According to the Gloucester County Times, enviromental issues raised by the township were responsible for the plan being scrapped:

Janet Hines, spokeswoman for NJTransit, said the project proposed for Hurffville-Cross Keys Road near Fries Mill Road ran into several difficulties and it will not go forward.

"This one had to do with environmental and traffic concerns the town had and for (those reasons) we decided not to do the Park and Ride in Washington Township," said Hines.

Township solicitor Michael Albano said local officials last met with representatives from the state Department of Transportation about 6 months ago, but have not since and were never told about the project not moving forward.

"We never received anything in writing from the state," Albano said. "There were concerns about traffic coming from the site to Fries Mill Road."

Fries Mill Road is one of the town's heavily traveled roadways. Albano said town officials offered as a suggestion possibly moving the project to another area of town, but the state never responded.

Environmental concerns might have dealt with the municipality's Wellhead Protection Ordinance. The ordinance limits certain kinds of businesses and development near open water wells. A judge last year ruled the law was unconstitutional and the town is appealing.

Last year, when the Times contacted state officials about the progress of the project, they reported that it was moving forward, even going as far as to say construction could start in a few weeks. Also at that time, local officials ordered its engineers to perform studies on the site and plans.

The $1.8 million dedicated to the project never reached the town, Albano said. Hines said the funds have since been reallocated to another priority project.

How much do you want to be that this "priority project" is somewhere in North Jersey?

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