Purpose & Need
The New Jersey Department of Transportation is undertaking a project to reconstruct the Route 3, Route 46, Valley Road, and Notch/Rifle Camp Road Interchanges to correct existing operational and safety problems as these existing problems along the Route 46 and Route 3 corridors have resulted in a high occurrence of accidents and chronic bottlenecks. The following problems were found to exist within the project limits:
- inadequate acceleration and deceleration lanes
- narrow shoulder widths
- closely spaced driveways and access points
- poor sight distance
- reduced lanes on Route 3 westbound
- deteriorated and substandard bridges
The project is located in the City of Clifton, the Township of Little Falls, and the Borough of Woodland Park in Passaic County. The projectís limits on Route 46 extend from just east of Browertown Road (Milepost 58.76) to Rock Hill Road (Milepost 60.58). Along Route 3, the project limits extend from the Route 3 / Route 46 / Valley Road Interchange (Milepost 0.00) to just east of Grove Street (Milepost 0.63).
A Feasibility Assessment Study was completed 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/Valley Road Interchange in Clifton. The Feasibility Assessment Study resulted in the selection of an Initially Preferred Alternative, and the project's Environmental Document was approved. Following the completion of Feasibility Assessment, NJDOT re-evaluated the improvements attempting to reduce project related impacts and cost without sacrificing the intent of the original project purpose and need. The project then advanced to the Preliminary Design phase which was completed and approved in June 2008. This resulted the development of the Proposed Improvements Plan which successfully reduced both utility and environmental impacts.
During subsequent stages of design, an analysis of the overall project was completed to determine ways of phasing the proposed improvements into smaller independent construction contracts. Consideration was given to utility relocation needs and the prioritization of improvements. This resulted in the identification of two independent construction phases - Contract A and Contract B.