Built in 1949, Route 3 interconnects Routes 17, 21, 46, the Garden State Parkway, the New Jersey Turnpike and Meadowlands Complex as well as access to the Lincoln Tunnel. After a 2005 statewide report found Route 3 to be the most congested freeway in New Jersey and statistics showed an above average amount of accidents on the road from 2002 to 2004, a $178-million redesign of the moveable Route 3 Bridge over the Passaic River was conceived; the project also included several fixed bridges and associated roadway work.

The New Jersey Dept. of Transportation, in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration, New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection and several other entities, enlisted Dewberry as the lead design firm on the project.

The objective of the road rehabilitation was to replace a deteriorating bridge, make the highway safer and improve traffic flow. Other benefits of this project are waterfront and educational park space, enhanced natural features, community improvements and a celebration of this urban corridor’s history.
To address the highway’s high accident rates, Dewberry created new collector-distributor (CD) roadways, updated acceleration and deceleration lanes, sight distances and interchanges. 

The project featured 2.5 miles of roadway widening, six bridges, 20 retaining walls, miles of noise barriers, profile changes/ramp improvements, construction staging and traffic control, disposal of contaminated soil, complex utility relocations, and an innovative community outreach program.
The movable Passaic River Bridge was replaced with a fixed structure, and the bridge carrying Park Avenue over Route 3 in Rutherford was also replaced in order to accommodate improvements being made to Route 3. 

Route 3 Over the Passaic River Bridge

Clifton, Lyndhurst and Rutherford, N.J.

Key Players

Owner/Developer New Jersey Dept. of Transportation

Lead Design Firm Dewberry

General Contractor/Construction Manager Creamer-Sanzari, JV