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Improvements


Proposed intersection improvements

Based on traffic studies and analyses, the following local intersections will be modified to increase safety and relieve congestion:
  • Kearney Street at Rutherford Avenue - Rutherford Avenue between Kearney Street and Park Avenue will be revised to one-way eastbound only; new signs and pavement markings.
  • Riverside Avenue at Route 3 westbound ramps - New signs and pavement markings will be installed in this area.
  • Marginal Road at Stuyvesant Avenue - Marginal Road between Riverside Avenue and Park Avenue will be revised to one-way westbound only. New signs and pavement markings will also be installed.
  • Park Avenue at Rutherford Avenue/Stuyvesant Avenue - New signal phasing installed at this intersection will match intersection geometry and signal upgrade. The upgraded signal will be designed and operated in conjunction with the new signal at Park Avenue and Marginal Road. Signal control will be operated as part of an overall interconnected signal system on both sides of Route 3.
  • Park Avenue at Marginal Road - A new signal will be designed and operated in conjunction with upgraded signal at Park Avenue and Rutherford Avenue. Signal control will be operated as part of an overall interconnected signal system on both sides of Route 3. New lane assignments and signals will improve intersection operation and safety.
  • Route 3 eastbound entrance ramp at Rutherford Avenue - This ramp will be relocated from Ridge Road vicinity to a location west for longer acceleration/merge lane on Route 3 eastbound.
  • Route 3 westbound entrance ramp at Marginal Road - New signs and pavement markings will be installed as well as a longer acceleration/merge lane on Route 3 westbound.
  • Ridge Road at Rutherford Avenue - An upgraded signal will be designed and operated in conjunction with the new signal at Ridge Road and Marginal Road/Barrows Avenue. Signal control will be operated as part of an overall interconnected signal system on both sides of Route 3.
  • Ridge Road at Marginal Road/Barrows Avenue - A new signal will be designed and operated in conjunction with an upgraded signal at Ridge Road and Rutherford Avenue. Signal control will be operated as part of an overall interconnected signal system on both sides of Route 3. Bringing the Barrows Avenue approach under signal control will enhance intersection safety and traffic flow efficiency.
  • Orient Way at Rutherford Avenue - An upgraded signal will be designed and operated in conjunction with the upgraded signal at Orient Way and Barrows Avenue/Service Road. Signal control will be operated as part of an overall interconnected signal system on both sides of Route 3. Elimination of the existing fifth leg of the current intersection will improve overall intersection safety and traffic flow with the removal of the driveway to the cemetery which is at the southeast corner of the intersection.
  • Orient Way and Barrows Avenue/Thomas E. Dunn Memorial Highway - A new signal will be designed and operated in conjunction with the upgraded signal at Orient Way at Rutherford Avenue. Signal control will be operated as part of an overall interconnected signal system on both sides of Route 3.

Structural improvements

All of the bridges carrying or crossing Route 3 will be affected by the proposed roadway improvements. During Final Scope Development, the extent of rehabilitation or replacement necessary was studied. Both the required final structure and the best way to construct it while maintaining traffic have been addressed.
  • Route 3 over the Passaic River

    The major bridge is a movable span over the Passaic River. It requires frequent maintenance repairs to the concrete slab decks on the approach spans, and to the open steel grating deck on the movable span. These repairs require lane closures and, as a result, will severely restrict traffic. A bridge opening has not been needed in almost 20 years because marine traffic has changed.

    The bridge was not designed to support current or anticipated highway vehicles. Another major problem is that the structure was originally designed to carry two lanes of traffic in each direction. To accommodate the substantial increase in traffic through the years, the shoulders on the road and bridge were converted into an additional lane in each direction. Since the on and off ramps to Route 21 in Clifton and Riverside Avenue in Rutherford are immediately adjacent to the bridge, there are no acceleration or deceleration lanes; ramp traffic enters and exits directly from a through lane.

    Since the bridge cannot be rehabilitated to provide for current highway geometric and safety standards, replacement is the preferred alternative. This bridge will be replaced in stages, one direction at a time. A permit for a fixed bridge was issued in May 2010 by the United States Coast Guard. This will result in the bridge requiring less maintenance in the future.

    The bridge profile is being lowered substantially and will result in better sight distance and a reduction in noise and visual impacts for residents along Route 3 in Rutherford and Lyndhurst.

  • Route 3 over NJ TRANSIT

    The bridge over the NJ TRANSIT railroad in Clifton must be replaced in stages to provide for the current required vertical clearance over the tracks. The NJ TRANSIT bridge will not need to be as wide as the Preliminary Design required.

  • Local streets over Route 3 in Rutherford

    The Preliminary Design required replacement of the bridges carrying three local streets (Park Avenue, Ridge Road and Orient Way) over Route 3 in Rutherford to provide sufficient strength to support current and anticipated vehicle designs, and accommodate geometric improvements, including vertical clearance on Route 3.

    With the implementation of the "smart sized" alternative, Park Avenue Bridge over Route 3 was advanced to a separate contract to distribute costs over a longer period and receive more competitive bids. The construction contract was awarded in Summer 2008. Traffic was maintained for local streets during construction by demolishing half the bridge at a time and use of a temporary pedestrian bridge. The new bridge was built half at a time with traffic using a portion of the existing bridge during Stage 1. Horizontal alignment of the local streets will be maintained. Utility service will be maintained during construction. As part of the contract the entrance ramp to Route 3 westbound west of Park Avenue was closed, and will remain closed until Stage 2 construction.

Replacement of the Orient Way and Ridge Road bridges has been deferred. This results in cost savings and eliminates the need for costly utility work. Shoulders will be widened and noise walls built in anticipation of future replacement of these bridges. Since the Ridge Road Bridge will remain, there is no longer room to construct the acceleration lane for the Route 3 eastbound on-ramp from Rutherford Avenue. Thus the on-ramp must be moved further to the west to provide standard length acceleration lane.

  • Other bridges to be modified or replaced include:

  • Route 3 over River Road
  • Route 3 over Lower Pond

Major design changes along the corridor, including speed reduction, lane configurations and lower structural profile enable these bridges to be widened and/or rehabilitated, rather than replaced.

A new bridge will be required to carry Route 3 over the Route 21 ramps in Clifton.

  • Roadway Improvements

    Route 3 was originally constructed almost 60 years ago in the 1940s, using design standards in effect at the time, to accommodate anticipated future traffic needs and volumes. At present, the road's geometric features, combined with large traffic volumes, result in problems with sight distance, access from other roads and businesses and lack of sufficient shoulders to provide for emergency conditions. In addition, the accident rate (based on current available accident data) in the Rutherford portion is above the statewide average.

    Proposed improvements will provide a roadway with lane and shoulder widths that conform to current safety standards and a vertical profile that will provide acceptable site distance for motorists. Access to Route 3 will be improved by designing acceleration and deceleration lanes that also conform to current criteria.

    While changes to the roadway width and profile will be substantial, a review has assured that during construction traffic can be maintained on Route 3.

 
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  Last Updated:  August 31, 2010