CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) – New Jersey’s state senate president made a surprise appearance this morning at the regular meeting of the Delaware River Port Authority.

On his mind was a project long close to his heart: extending light rail service into Gloucester County.

A proposed route similar to the River Line that links Camden with Trenton has long been talked about between Camden and Woodbury, perhaps also extending south to Glassboro.  But funding for the project has held it up for years.

At today’s DRPA meeting, state senate president Steve Sweeney asked that the project be given higher priority and noted the new leadership at the Authority, directing his comments to Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett, the board’s new chairman.

“We’re going to improve the quality of life for our residents, but more importantly it’s going to give us  a bigger bang to the economy,” Sweeney said.

Corbett was noncommittal after the meeting, admitting that he knew little about the project at this point.

But commissioners will soon be asked to vote on funding a $9-million environmental impact study that could move the proposal ahead.

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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