American Society of Highway Engineers

The Early Years of our Section and Our Original Charter of 1990

The earliest communication on record was a letter dated May 21, 1990, from Edward K. Peers, PE.  His letter was an invitation to “fellow professionals” to an informational dinner meeting on June 6, 1990, at the Centerpoint Holiday Inn, Jamesburg, NJ.  At this meeting ASHE was presented and applications distributed.

It was interesting to note that the planting of a new section was through the vision of Ed Peers and his association with the Southern New Jersey Section.  The original concept was to form a new Section that would relate strongly with NJDOT and their Trenton, NJ Headquarters.  The “New Section” was originally named “Central Jersey Section”: however, the name was quickly changed to the current name, “North Central New Jersey Section”.  This new name identified with the desire to relate to those potential new members located within the North and Central geographical parts of New Jersey.  NJDOT was located in Central NJ and a large number of Consulting Engineering Offices were located in Northern NJ, close to the cities of Newark and New York.

The first organizational meeting was held on August 2, 1990, at Orth-Rogers Offices located in Bridgewater, NJ and included those persons who were willing to serve as officers of the New Section.  At this meeting the following officers were elected: John Jennings, NJDOT, President; Rodney P. Pello, HNTB, Vice President;

Edward Peers, Orth-Rogers, Secretary; G. Bruce Conner, Edwards & Kelcey, Treasurer; Allan R. Ritchie, Modjeski & Masters, Director; George Keller, NJDOT, Director; Martin Van Riper, NJDOT, Director.

In September 19, 1990 a General Membership Meeting was held at the Holiday Inn in Jamesburg, NJ.  Invitations were extended to all potential new members and the meeting included a strong pitch for membership.  Joan Cornell of Transpo Industries, Inc. was the guest speaker and presented information on “Energy Absorption Systems”.

On December 5, 1990 the Section was chartered by the National Society with approximately 50 members.  Then in 1991 we hit a bump in the road.  Our secretary had some personal problems that required him to withdraw.  It took a while for the Board to pick up the slack and move ahead again.  We lost about a year, but then with the strong leadership of Rod Pello, Bruce Connor, and other members of the Board, the Section grew rapidly in strength and numbers.

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