Interstate 280 (New Jersey): Wikis


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Interstate 280 shield
Interstate 280
Auxiliary route of the Interstate Highway System
Essex Freeway
Maintained by NJDOT and NJTA
A map of New Jersey showing major roads. I-280 runs northwest to southeast in the northeastern part of the state.
I-280 highlighted in red
Length: 17.85 mi[1] (28.73 km)
Formed: 1958
West end: I-80 in Parsippany-Troy Hills
G.S. Pkwy. in East Orange
Route 21 in Newark
East end: I-95 / NJ Turnpike in Kearny
New Jersey State Highway Routes
< I-278 Route 284 >

Interstate 280 (abbreviated I-280) is a 17.85-mile (28.73 km) Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of New Jersey. It provides a spur from I-80 in Parsippany-Troy Hills, Morris County to Newark, and I-95 (the New Jersey Turnpike in Kearny, Hudson County. In Kearny, access is provided toward the Holland Tunnel and Lincoln Tunnel to New York City. The western part of the route runs through suburban areas of Morris and Essex counties, crossing the Watchung Mountains. Upon reaching The Oranges, the setting becomes more urbanized and I-280 runs along a depressed alignment before ascending again in Newark. I-280 includes a lift bridge, the William A. Stickel Memorial Bridge over the Passaic River between Newark and Harrison. The highway is sometimes called the Essex Freeway.

A part of present-day I-280 in Newark west of the Stickel Bridge was legislated as Route 25A in 1939, a spur of Route 25 (U.S. Route 1/9) that was to run from Jersey City west to Newark. This portion of road would become Route 58 in 1953 (the Route 58 designation was removed in the 1990s). When the Interstate Highway System was being planned, the Route 3 freeway was planned to become and Interstate. The New Jersey State Highway Department favored the Essex Freeway instead between I-80 in Parsippany-Troy Hills to I-95 in Kearny instead. The latter would become the Interstate and be designated I-280. This road was built in the 1960s and be completed west from Newark in 1973. The portion east of Newark to the New Jersey Turnpike opened in 1980. I-280 was once planned to continue east to I-78 near the Holland Tunnel but never was extended east of the New Jersey Turnpike. In the 2000s, the Stickel Bridge was reconstructed after the original structure was determined to be structurally deficient.


Route description

A six lane freeway in a wooded area at an interchange with three green signs over the road. The left sign reads west Interstate 280, the middle sign reads exits 4 B-A Eisenhower Parkway 1 mile, and the right sign reads exit 5A County Route 527 south Livingston with an arrow pointing to the upper right.
I-280 westbound at CR 527 in Roseland

I-280 begins at I-80 and US 46 in Parsippany-Troy Hills, Morris County and heads southeast into wooded surroundings as a four-lane highway.[1][2] The road comes to its first interchange with New Road before crossing the Whippany River into East Hanover.[1] The freeway runs near some fields before heading back into woods and entering Roseland, Essex County at the crossing of the Passaic River.[1][2] Shortly after the Passaic River, I-280 has a cloverleaf interchange with the Eisenhower Parkway (CR 609).[1] At this point, the freeway widens to six lanes and runs near wooded suburban areas before reaching CR 527 at another cloverleaf interchange.[1][2] Past CR 527, I-280 makes a turn to the east before heading southeast into Livingston and intersecting CR 634.[1] Following this exit, the road enters West Orange and passes through Second Watchung Mountain in a cut. Past the mountain, the road heads back into suburban areas and comes to the exit for CR 636.[1][2] The road widens to eight lanes here and heads east to an interchange with CR 577.[1] After CR 577, I-280 makes a sharp turn to the south and goes through First Watchung Mountain in another cut.[2] The freeway resumes into suburbs again and heads south-southeast as it comes to the CR 660 junction.[1][2] Immediately after, the road has an interchange with CR 508 Spur.[1]

The terrain becomes urban soon after exit 10, when it enters Orange. Here, I-280 narrows back to six lanes and heads onto a depressed alignment with frequent overpasses, running a short distance to the south of New Jersey Transit’s Morristown Line.[1][2] Along this portion, the road has ramps to Essex Avenue, Day Street, and Center Street.[1] Continuing into East Orange, the freeway passes under more streets as it runs next to the Morristown Line, interchanging with Harrison Street and Clinton Street. At a full interchange with the Garden State Parkway, I-280 also has access to CR 509 and Oraton Parkway.[1][2] Following this junction, the freeway widens to eight lanes before becoming ten lanes at the border with Newark.[1]

A six lane freeway in an urban area with a vertical lift bridge in the distance. A green sign with flashing lights on the right side of the road reads Drawbridge ahead 700 feet.
I-280 westbound approaching the Stickel Bridge over the Passaic River

After crossing under more city streets, the road comes to exit 13, a left-side exit and entrance to and from the west accessing 1st Street and a ramp from the east to Orange Street.[1][2] At this point, the total amount of lanes on the road decreases from ten to four.[1] 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 Morris & Essex Lines and Montclair-Boonton 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.[1][2] After this, I-280 passes under Clifton Avenue, which it has access to, and Nesbitt Street. It rises again to pass over Martin Luther King Boulevard, which is also has access to, Broad Street and Route 21.[1] Just after a large interchange with Route 21, I-280 crosses the Passaic River again on the six-lane William A. Stickel Memorial Bridge, a lift bridge, into Harrison, Hudson County.[1][2]

I-280 continues to run just north of the railroad as a six-lane freeway through Harrison, reaching an interchange with CR 508.[1][2] The road continues southeast through urban surroundings before turning east and passing to the north of a railroad yard.[2] It splits from the railroad line as it runs into Kearny and enters the New Jersey Meadowlands. At the final interchange with CR 508, I-280 has access to the Holland Tunnel via Route 7, US 1/9 Truck and Route 139. Past CR 508, the freeway narrows to four lanes and comes to the toll plaza for the New Jersey Turnpike (I-95) at exit 15W, at which point I-280 ends. Full access is provided with the Western Spur of the New Jersey Turnpike, which carries through I-95 traffic; ramps to and from the north on the Eastern Spur of the New Jersey Turnpike allow for access to the Lincoln Tunnel via Route 495.[1][2]


A map of the New York City area showing county borders in addition to proposed interstates, which are in thick black
1955 map, showing the planned Interstate Highway along Route 3
Cutout shield for Route 25A
Route 25A (1939-1953)

What is now the easternmost part of I-280 was legislated as Route 25A in 1939, a branch of Route 25 (US 1/9) from Jersey City west through Kearny and Harrison across the Passaic River and into Newark, connecting with Route 21 and Clifton Avenue.[3] The William A. Stickel Memorial Bridge opened in 1949, with approaches stretching east to Harrison Avenue (now CR 508) in Harrison (crossing Cleveland Avenue and Hamilton Street at-grade) and west beyond Route 21 to Broad Street.[4] 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.[5][6]

Around the time the Stickel Bridge opened, the Essex Freeway was planned to connect US 46 in Morris County east to the New Jersey Turnpike in Hudson County, with the intention of alleviating traffic along Route 10.[7] 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.[8] The New Jersey State Highway Department countered with the proposed Essex Freeway, which would run from I-80 to the New Jersey Turnpike (I-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."[9] The Essex Freeway was selected as the interstate corridor, which was called FAI Corridor 105 before being designated I-280 in 1958.[9][10]

Construction progressed slowly, starting in 1960 near Orange. There were many obstacles that had to be overcome when constructing I-280. The first was whether to build the highway on an elevated or depressed alignment through urbanized areas of East Orange and Newark. Following opposition to the elevated option, it was decided to build I-280 on a depressed alignment through the area.[11][12] In addition, there was an issue of building the road across First Watchung Mountain in West Orange. A tunnel had initially been considered, although the expense of such a project caused this alternative to be rejected. Instead, a rock cut along a longer route was built through the mountain. Much of the material that was excavated from this section of I-280 and east was removed via a temporary rail line that was built in the center of the right-of-way west to I-80.[13][14] I-280 fully opened west from Newark to I-80 in Parsippany-Troy Hills in 1973.[15] The portion of I-280 east of Newark was planned onto an alignment that would disrupt the fewest homes and would utilize existing railroad and utility right-of-way.[16] The road east from Newark to the New Jersey Turnpike was completed in the 1980s.[17] In the 1966 plans, I-280 was to continue east to I-78 in Jersey City near the Holland Tunnel, following the CR 508 and Route 7 corridors; this was planned again in the 1970s but never built.[14][18]

In the 1990s, the Route 58 designation was officially removed from I-280 through Newark. [19][20] In 2001, the state determined the Stickel Bridge over the Passaic River and its approaches were structurally deficient and was going to need to be replaced after sections of it were falling apart.[21][22][23] Instead of replacing the bridge, in 2007 the NJDOT decided to rehabilitate it at a lower cost.[23] Reconstruction of the bridge was completed in April 2009 at a cost of $33 million.[24]

I-280, like many other highways in New Jersey, once had solar powered emergency call boxes every 1.0-mile (1.6 km), however with the advent of cell phones the usage of these call boxes became extremely limited. To save on maintenance costs, the NJDOT removed these call boxes in 2005.[25][26]

Exit list

County Location Mile[1] # Destinations Notes
Morris Parsippany-Troy Hills Township 0.00 I-80 west – Delaware Water Gap Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
I-287 to US 46Mahwah, Morristown Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
1.55 1 To US 46 / Edwards Road, New Road
Essex Boro of Roseland 3.87 4 CR 609 south (Eisenhower Parkway) Signed as exits 4A (south) and 4B (north)
4.95 5 CR 527Livingston, The Caldwells Signed as exits 5A (south) and 5B (north)
Livingston Township 6.22 6 CR 634 (Laurel Avenue) Signed as exits 6A (south) and 6B (north) westbound
West Orange Township 7.49 7 CR 636 (Pleasant Valley Way) – Millburn, Verona
8.23 8 CR 577 (Prospect Avenue) – West Orange, Cedar Grove Signed as exits 8A (south) and 8B (north)
9.64 9 CR 660 (Mount Pleasant Avenue) – West Orange, Montclair Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
9.91 10 CR 508West Orange, South Orange, Montclair Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
City of Orange 10.61-10.80 11 Center Street, Day Street, Essex Avenue - Orange Signed as exit 11B westbound
East Orange 11.48 12A Harrison Street, Clinton Street - City of East Orange
12.32 12B G.S. Pkwy. / Oraton Parkway Toll station at ramp
City of Newark 13.18-13.40 13 1st Street, Orange Street, 6th Street - Branch Brook Park, UMDNJ, NJIT
13.74 14A Clifton Avenue No eastbound exit
14.11 14B Martin Luther King Boulevard - Broad Street Station, Rutgers University, NJIT, Essex County College Signed as exit 14 eastbound; no westbound entrance
14.42-14.70 15A Route 21 south – Downtown Newark, Ironbound Signed as exit 15 eastbound; no westbound entrance
14.70 15B Route 21 north – Belleville Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
Hudson Town of Harrison 14.92 16 CR 508Harrison, Newark
Town of Kearny 16.86 17 CR 508Jersey City, Kearny split into 17A and 17B
17.05 New Jersey Turnpike Toll Plaza (Exit 15W)
17.25 18 NJ Turnpike / I-95 to I-80 / US 46 Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
17.85 NJ Turnpike / I-95Lincoln Tunnel Eastbound exit and westbound entrance

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w "Interstate 280 straight line diagram" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2010-01-06.  
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Google, Inc. Google Maps – overview map of I-280 [map]. Cartography by Tele Atlas. Retrieved on 2010-01-06.
  3. ^ ROUTE NO. 25A. Beginning at a point in State Highway Route No. 25 in Jersey City and extending via Jersey City, Kearny, Harrison, across the Passaic river at or near the present Bridge street bridge between the counties of Essex and Hudson to and connecting with State Highway Route No. 21 and Clifton avenue in Newark.
  4. ^ "Newark Traffic Eased; Ramp From Stickel Bridge to Broad Street Is Opened". New York, New York: New York Times. September 2, 1950. pp. 12.  
  5. ^ 1953 renumbering, New Jersey Department of Highways,, retrieved 2009-07-31  
  6. ^ "New Road Signs Ready in New Jersey". The New York Times. 1952-12-16. Retrieved 2009-07-20.  
  7. ^ Report on east–west and Route 10 Freeways and Connections. New Jersey State Highway Department. 1948.  
  8. ^ Bureau of Public Roads. General Location of National System of Interstate Highways in New York, New York [map]. (1955) Retrieved on 2009-12-22.
  9. ^ a b FAI 105 Interstate Highway Corridor: Recommendation Report. New Jersey State Highway Department. 1957.  
  10. ^ Wright, George Cable (September 19, 1958). "New Roads with New Numbers Will Parallel Old U.S. Routes". The New York Times.  
  11. ^ Honig, Milton (April 1, 1959). "Depressed Road Backed in Essex". The New York Times.  
  12. ^ Public Hearing on the Depression of Essex Freeway. New Jersey State Assembly. March 2, 1961.  
  13. ^ Regional Highways: Status Report. Tri-State Transportation Commission. 1962.  
  14. ^ a b Transportation 1985: A Regional Plan. Tri-State Transportation Commission. 1966.  
  15. ^ "More Tieups for the Motorists; Impossible Task?" (Fee required). The New York Times. October 21, 1973. Retrieved 2010-01-07.  
  16. ^ Interstate Route 280: Stickel Bridge to I-95. New Jersey Department of Transportation. 1967.  
  17. ^ State Farm Insurance. State Farm Road Atlas [map]. Cartography by Rand McNally. (1983)
  18. ^ Maintaining Mobility. Tri-State Regional Planning Commission. 1975.  
  19. ^ Route 58 Straight Line Diagram (1990 ed.). New Jersey Department of Transportation. 1990.  
  20. ^ Interstate 280 Straight Line Diagram (1997 ed.). New Jersey Department of Transportation. 1997.  
  21. ^ Sterling, Guy (April 20, 2001). "State Looks To Fix the Stickel". The Star-Ledger.  
  22. ^ Sterling, Guy (May 2, 2001). "Elevated Route 280 Section Drops Chunks on Newark". The Star-Ledger.  
  23. ^ a b Caldwell, Dave (May 27, 2007). "With Repairs and New Paint, a Bridge Is Getting Its Life Extended". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-01-07.  
  24. ^ "I-280 Stickel Bridge Rehabilitation & Reconstruction Overview, Construction Updates, Commuter Information". New Jersey Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2010-01-07.  
  25. ^ Cichowski, John (June 26, 2005). "Reducing highway safety completely uncalled for". The Record. Retrieved 2009-08-25.  
  26. ^ Barlas, Thomas (February 28, 2007). "Last call for N.J.'s roadside call boxes". The Press of Atlantic City.  

External links



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