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Route 280, Route 21 Interchange Improvements Project

Essex County


Proposed Improvements

The Route 280, Route 21 Interchange Improvements Project will rehabilitate and replace six existing ramp or mainline structures within the interchange. These six structures, over 60 years old, were determined by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) through bridge inspection and maintenance records to be Structurally Deficient and/or Functionally Obsolete.

In order to correct these long-standing concerns, the structures and approach roadways and ramps will be rehabilitated or reconstructed. Three missing interchange movements will be added.

In addition to the structural and geometric considerations, the existing corridor has other infrastructure elements that are non-functioning, deteriorated or beyond routine maintenance. These elements include parapets and railings, lighting, signing, median barriers and structural drainage elements. Through this improvement effort, these and other infrastructure elements will be brought up to date and specifications where practicable.

The proposed improvements are:

Route 280 to Route 21

  • From Route 280 westbound to Route 21: The Route 280 westbound existing exits for Route 21 northbound and southbound will be combined into a single loop ramp terminating at a new traffic signal on Route 21 allowing northbound and southbound access, with access to Broad Street maintained by way of Division Street.
  • From Route 280 eastbound to Route 21: Route 280 eastbound traffic will use the existing exit ramp to Route 21 southbound to access both directions of Route 21 at a reconfigured traffic signal.

Route 21 to Route 280

  • From Route 21 to Route 280 westbound: A proposed westbound ramp from Route 21 combined with a proposed northbound Route 21 jug handle ramp, and a newly installed traffic signal will connect both directions of Route 21 to Route 280 westbound, allowing commuters, New Jersey Performing Art Center (NJPAC) and arena traffic to access Route 280 westbound. Further, the proposed ramp reconfiguration will reduce vehicular volume in residential areas west of the Broad Street railroad station.
  • From Route 21 to Route 280 eastbound: The three existing ramps from both directions of Route 21 and Broad Street to Route 280 eastbound will be reconstructed and merged into a single ramp entry improving ramp and expressway operations and safety.

Route 280
To accommodate the new interchange configuration, the following improvements are proposed on Route 280:

  • A new acceleration lane for the ramp from Route 21 southbound to Route 280 westbound will be added.
  • The alignment of Route 280 will be shifted slightly to the south to avoid impacts to the historic Plume House.
  • Space to the south has been made available by proposing structures within the NJDOT right of way over Broad Street.
  • The outside parapet locations of the Route 280 bridges over Broad Street will remain but the parapets will be updated.
  • The existing viaduct over Route 21 and several existing ramps will be replaced by roadway embankment and retaining walls.
  • Two new Route 280 bridges will be added, one bridge carries Route 280 over Route 21 Bridge and the other bridge carries Route 280 over the ramp from Route 21 to Route 280 eastbound.
  • The western approach to the Stickel Bridge will be rehabilitated.
  • A new bridge will be constructed that carries the new Route 280 westbound exit ramp over the entrance ramps to Route 280 eastbound and westbound.
  • The operation and safety of Route 280 will be improved with provisions for outside shoulders, the reduction in westbound exits and eastbound entrances.
  • The revised interchange configuration will remove all but local traffic from Grant Street, creating a safer and quieter environment near the Apostle's House and surrounding community.
  • Additional parking spaces will be included as part of the design along Grant Street and State Street.

Utilities
As a result of the proposed geometric improvements and removal of existing viaduct, several utilities will require relocation. The following major utility activities are proposed to facilitate the selected improvements:

  • 24 inch gas line relocation.
  • Aerial utility relocation at Grant Street/Spring Street.
  • Sanitary sewer, water and gas line/service relocation at Grant Street.
  • Relocation of underground electric facilities and electric structures for the existing Stickel Bridge lift bridge operation.
  • Closed circuit TV (CCTV) cameral relocation.

Project activities associated with the sanitary sewer line will require Treatment Works Approval from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Landscaping, Streetscaping and Lighting

  • Landscaping will be provided in proposed ramp infields and various areas where existing pavement is being removed. The proposed landscaping will be low maintenance and has been developed in close coordination with the community through various community outreach meetings and workshops.
  • Streetscaping on Route 21 will be consistent with the Transportation Systems Management (TSM) 6 improvements to the north and south of the project. This will include granite curb, scored and tinted driveways, new sidewalks, imprinted crosswalks and a brick border pattern throughout. Existing decorative highway/street lighting will be relocated as needed.
  • Landscaping and streetscaping on Grant Street has been coordinated with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). This will include upgraded concrete sidewalk with a brick border, concrete planter benches and fences. Decorative lighting will be provided on the south side of Grant Street. All design elements are compatible with the surrounding historic setting.
  • As part of the continued coordination with the local community, decorative lights will be installed on Eighth Avenue. In addition, any sick street trees will be replaced at the time of construction.
  • State Street sidewalk will be replaced where necessary and appropriate lighting will be installed. Historic plaques will be attached to adjacent walls describing the history of the surrounding area.
  • Plantings are also proposed along the rehabilitated Passaic River Bulkhead.
 
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  Department of Transportation
  P.O. Box 600
  Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
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  Last Updated:  November 13, 2013