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Township to Extend Route 522, Divert Truck Traffic from Residential Areas

New extension expected to alleviate congestion at five-corners intersection in Dayton.

An agreement for a land swap has been reached between South Brunswick Township and the state Department of Environmental Protection that will allow for the completion of an extension of Route 522 between Route 130 and Cranbury–South River Road.

The project is expected to alleviate commercial truck traffic in residential areas along Ridge Road through the construction of a connector from Route 522 to Fresh Ponds Road, which will limit access for trucks from Route 130 to Fresh Ponds Road.

"Right now Route 522 doesn't go all the way out to Cranbury-South River Road, so trucks have to get off on Route 130 and take Ridge Road, which becomes Route 522, or drive to Route 32 and to Route 130," said Public Affairs Coordinator Ron Schmalz. "This will allow for vehicles to go straight from 522 to (Cranbury-South River Road/Route 535) and right to the (NJ Turnpike.)"

As part of the land swap, the NJ DEP will give the township an approximately 5-acre portion of a 30-acre parcel of Pigeon Swamp State Park on Fresh Ponds Road. The property lies in a wooded undeveloped area at the southern edge of Pigeon Swamp State Park and is not currently active for recreational use.

The land going from the township to the DEP is in the same area and will add additional woodlands to Pigeon Swamp State Park, in addition to a large pond and freshwater wetlands.

"There's about four to five acres that we own going to them that will complete their parcel of land, but the four to fives acres coming to us was isolated from the park and really wasn't even in it," said Mayor Frank Gambatese. "So this benefits them and us. The land value is about the same, and the sizes are identical."

A public hearing on the land swap has been scheduled for Dec. 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the South Brunswick Utilities Building at 540 Ridge Road in Monmouth Junction. Should the swap go through to allow the completion of the road extension, it will immediately allow for two pending construction projects to begin.

"We have two warehouses that have been approved by the Planning Board alongside Route 522 that have been waiting almost five years," Gambatese noted. "They're starting to get antsy, and I don't blame them, but we're thankful they've held on because they want to build these warehouses here. That's a big ratable for us. It's annoying that it's taken so long to get Route 522 completed, but I'm convinced it will get approved in the early part of next year."

Gambatese added the two warehouses would bring about 200 jobs to South Brunswick. Beyond the additional jobs, the extension project is expected to ease congestion at the five-corners intersection in Dayton by diverting much of the truck traffic from the area.

"Once it's done they can get off the Turnpike at 8A and hit Route 522, which will then take them across the entire township and then all the way to Princeton," Gambatese said. "For an area like the five-corners, it's currently a mess and this will take a lot of the traffic away from that configuration."
Lawrence December 10, 2013 at 06:54 PM
This sounds like excellent planning and cooperation between the Township and the DEP. Well done!
diamondheart718 December 15, 2013 at 07:25 AM
It may just alleviate the extreme car traffic on Fresh Ponds at rush hour as well...very excited for that!

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