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Route 46 and Notch Road Interchange

Little Falls and Woodland Park

Route 3 and Valley Road Interchange



The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) is in the Final Design of proposed operational and safety improvements for two Passaic County interchanges that have become chronic bottlenecks due to heavy traffic volumes during peak hours.

The two interchanges are Route 46 and Notch and Rifle Camp Roads in Little Falls and Woodland Park and Route 3 and Valley Road in Clifton.

Estimated project schedule

Begin Final Design Spring 2009
Community outreach Spring 2010 - Spring 2013
Complete Final Design - Contract A Fall 2014
Start construction - Contract A Fall 2015
Complete Final Design - Contract B Summer 2018
Start construction - Contract B To be determined

These will be completed in this Final Design phase:
  • right of way requirements
  • access changes
  • environmental permits
  • final design


The NJDOT’s Bureau of Project Scope Development completed a Feasibility Assessment Study in 2001 to determine the transportation problems and needs along Route 46 from the interchange with Notch and Rifle Camp Roads in Little Falls and Woodland Park to the Route 3 and Valley Road interchange in Clifton, Passaic County. The study resulted in the selection of an Initially Preferred Alternative (IPA) for operational and safety improvements at Route 46 and Route 3 to conform to current design standards. Following completion of scope development, NJDOT re-evaluated the improvements to reduce the project related impacts and cost without sacrificing the intent of the original project purpose and need. The current plan, referred to as the Proposed Improvements Plan, reduces impacts to major utility infrastructure and environmental impacts.

Project area

The project area extends along Route 46 from the vicinity of Lower Notch Road to Rock Hill Road and along Route 3 from Valley Road to west of Grove Street, in Little Falls, Woodland Park and Clifton, Passaic County.

Proposed interchange improvements

The proposed improvements at the Notch Road/Rifle Camp Road interchange include the re-channelization of the existing intersection on the south side of Route 46 and a new roundabout on the north side of Route 46 to improve traffic flow and sight distance. At Clove Road, a new interchange will improve access to Route 46 westbound. Improvements to the Route 46/Route 3/Valley Road interchange include reconstruction and reconfiguration of the ramps, a new traffic signal on Valley Road and a new roundabout at the intersection of the Valley Road, Great Notch Road and the new Route 3 exit ramp.

Proposed structural improvements

The proposed project will require five new bridge structures and two superstructure replacements, each designed to improve physical condition and substandard vertical under clearance.
  • The superstructure of the Route 46 bridge over Lower Notch Road will be replaced under staged construction to extend the service life of the structure.
  • The Notch Road/Rifle Camp Road superstructure will be replaced. The structure will be widened to provide turning lanes, shoulders and sidewalks.
  • A new bridge structure will be constructed over Route 46 at Clove Road as part of the Clove Road interchange improvement.
  • The Route 46 over Valley Road bridge will be replaced under staged construction to provide auxiliary lanes at the Route 46 and Route 3 connection.
  • Three replacement bridges at the Route 46 and Route 3 interchange will provide for the reconfiguration of ramps to meet current standards.
In addition, a number of retaining walls will be constructed at various locations due to grade differentials. They will vary in height from a 3 feet minimum to approximately 30 feet maximum.

Proposed roadway improvements

From Notch/Rifle Camp Road to the Valley Road interchange, Route 46 will be widened to provide shoulders and acceleration/deceleration lanes to reduce mainline weaving caused by the closely spaced access points on Route 46 and at the Route 46/Route 3 diverge. A three lane section is proposed to replace the existing two lane connections at the intersection of Route 46 and Route 3 eastbound. Route 46 will be realigned to converge with Route 3 from the right (not from the left as it currently exists). Complete interchange upgrades will be made. Additional roadway improvements include:

  • construction of a new two-way service road (Great Notch Road) on the north side of Route 46 connecting Notch Road to Valley Road to remove traffic and reduce weaving on Route 46 westbound
  • widening of Route 46 westbound to provide an auxiliary lane between Rock Hill Road and Valley Road
  • the realignment of the Route 46 eastbound exit and entrance ramps and the construction of a modern roundabout at Clove Road
  • design of architectural screening to mitigate the proximity of residences to the highways

Expected traffic impacts

Improvements to Route 46 and Route 3 will reduce the number of accidents and improve the level of service. During construction, traffic will be maintained to provide uninterrupted service for the main roadways during peak hours.

Environmental considerations

  • Air and noise studies will concentrate on sensitive receptors where noise levels need to be addressed.
  • Feasibility studies and public meetings have resulted in consideration of architectural enhancement screens.
  • The Third River, which meanders across Route 46 via a series of culverts, will be realigned as needed to accommodate the new and widened roadways. Improvements will focus on providing a watercourse that yields both flood and environmental benefits.
  • A comprehensive public involvement program will provide the opportunity for input from the three affected communities located along this section of roadway.

Geotechnical and utility considerations

During Final Design all underground and aerial utility conflicts will be identified and relocations will be designed. Both geotechnical and pavement assessments will be performed and subsurface information will be gathered. A Geotechnical Rock Engineering Report will provide rock cut slope recommendations for the widened Route 46 corridor.

Construction costs

The estimated construction cost of this project (Contracts A and B) is over $150 million. Federal and state funds are being used for this project.

Design Consultants:

  • Stantec Consulting Services, Inc. (Rochelle Park)
  • TranSystems Corp. (Paramus)
  • Amercom Corp. (Parsippany)
  • Haley and Aldrich, Inc. (Dover)
  • Paul Carpenter Associates, Inc. (Florham Park)
  • InfraMap, Corp. (Windsor)
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  Last Updated:  November 16, 2015