Interstate 280 (New Jersey)


Interstate 280 (New Jersey)

Infobox road
state=NJ
route=280
alternate_name=Essex Freeway
type=I



maint=NJDOT
length_mi=17.85
length_round=2
length_ref= [ [http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/refdata/sldiag/00000280__-.pdf Interstate 280] straight line diagram (PDF)]
year_established=1958
direction_a=West
terminus_a=Jct|state=NJ|I|80 in Parsippany-Troy Hills
junction=
direction_b=East
terminus_b=Jct|state=NJ|I|95|NJTP| in Kearny
previous_type=I
previous_route=278
next_type=NJ
next_route=284

Interstate 280 (abbreviated I-280) is a 17.85-mile (28.73 km) Interstate Highway, providing a spur from Interstate 80 to Newark, New Jersey and Interstate 95 (the New Jersey Turnpike) and towards the Holland Tunnel to New York City. It includes a lift bridge, the William A. Stickel Memorial Bridge over the Passaic River. The highway is sometimes called the Essex Freeway.

Route description

I-280 begins at Interstate 80 in Parsippany-Troy Hills Township and heads southeast, passing through the First Watchung Mountain in a cut. The terrain becomes urban soon after exit 10, when it enters Orange, where I-280 is depressed with frequent overpasses. After a full interchange with the Garden State Parkway and the border with Newark, three of the five lanes in each direction are dropped at exit 13, a left-side exit and entrance. The exit, built for a connection to the never-built Route 75, once had stubs from the unbuilt connection, but has been reconfigured with a simple T intersection at First Street.

I-280 eastbound heads up and over the exit 13 ramps, rejoining the westbound lanes on a bridge over First Street, Orange Street and the Newark City Subway. As the road returns to surface level, and begins to parallel the New Jersey Transit Morristown Line (former Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad main line) to the north, an unused bridge carries the western end of the 1954 section of freeway over the railroad to Orange Street east of Duryea Street. I-280 passes under Clifton Avenue and Nesbitt Street before rising again to pass over High Street, Broad Street and Route 21. Just after a complicated interchange with Route 21, I-280 crosses the Passaic River on the six-lane William A. Stickel Memorial Bridge, a lift bridge opened in 1949, into Harrison.

I-280 continues to run just north of the railroad through Harrison, splitting off to the northeast near the Kearny town line. After the final interchange, exit 17 for County Route 508, which provides access to the Holland Tunnel via Route 7, U.S. Route 1-9 Truck and Route 139, I-280 ends at the New Jersey Turnpike (Interstate 95) at exit 15W. Full access is provided with the Western Spur, which carries through I-95 traffic; ramps to and from the north on the Eastern Spur allow for access to the Lincoln Tunnel via Route 495.

History

The first part of I-280 to be built was the William A. Stickel Memorial Bridge and approaches. Route 25A was legislated in 1939 and amended in 1945 as a branch of Route 25 (U.S. Route 1/9) from Jersey City west through Kearny and Harrison across the Passaic River and into Newark, connecting with Route 21 and Clifton Avenue. The bridge opened in 1949, with approaches stretching east to Harrison Avenue (now County Route 508) in Harrison (crossing Cleveland Avenue and Hamilton Street at-grade) and west beyond Route 21 to Broad Street.

Route 25A was redesignated as Route 58 in the 1953 New Jersey state highway renumbering, and the next year an extension opened west beyond Clifton Avenue to Orange Street east of Duryea Street (where there is now an unused stub).

During planning for the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s, the Bureau of Public Roads proposed an Interstate Highway along Route 3, to the north of Newark. The New Jersey State Highway Department countered with the proposed Essex Freeway, which would run from Interstate 80 to Interstate 95 via the existing Route 58, saying that the Route 3 corridor "does not meet Interstate standards, and cannot be economically converted to such standards." Interstate 280 was chosen for the freeway in 1958.

The freeway like many other interstates in New Jersey once had solar powered emergency call boxes every 1.0 mile, however with the advent of cell phones the usage of these call boxes became extremely limited. So to save on maintenance costs the NJDOT removed these call boxes in 2005, and with difficulty replacing parts, they are disappearing from many other freeways such as I-195, I-295, I-78, I-80, NJ 55, NJ 208. [http://www.bergenrecord.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk0NSZmZ2JlbDdmN3ZxZWVFRXl5NjcxMzEyMyZ5cmlyeTdmNzE3Zjd2cWVlRUV5eTU=] [http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/newjersey/nj_politics/story/7249540p-7103827c.html]

Construction issues

Construction progressed slowly, starting in 1960 near Orange and fully opening west from Newark in 1973. The road east from Newark to the Turnpike was completed in 1980, at which time a median barrier was installed on the Stickel Bridge.

It should be noted that due to the 6% grade (maximum allowable on interstate highways) between Exits 8 and 9 that a tunnel had initially been considered in order to lessen the grade, although the expense of such a project caused this alternative to be rejected. Nevertheless, this section continues to be an operational headache due to the grade (especially eastbound) and the high rock walls that surround the highway at this point. Interestingly, much of the material that was excavated from this section and east was removed via a temporary rail line that was built in the center of the right-of-way.

Other issues that complicated the building of the route, and which have not yet to this day resolved, include the sociological impact on entire neighborhoods in Orange and East Orange (where the right-of-way parallels what is now New Jersey Transit's Morris and Essex Lines), as well as the changes brought on by creating a wide corridor consisting of multiple roadways paralleling each another together with a major commuter railroad.

Exit list

Shields are shown at intersections with other Interstates.

ee also

*Route 25
*Route 25AD

References

External links

* [http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/refdata/sldiag/00000280__-.pdf NJDOT Interstate 280] Straight Line Diagram from the New Jersey Department of Transportation
* [http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/refdata/sldiag/enlarged_view_46.pdf An expanded view of road jurisdiction near the confluence of US 46, I-95 / NJTurnpike, I 280, NJ 7 and CR 508 in Kearny]
* [http://www.nycroads.com/roads/I-280_NJ/ The Roads of Metro New York - Interstate 280 (New Jersey)]
* [http://www.alpsroads.net/roads/nj/log/11.html#280 New Jersey Roads: Interstate 280]


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