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Route 280, Route 21 Interchange Improvements Project

Essex County


Frequently Asked Questions


Q. Why is this work necessary?
A:

The proposed project of Route 280, Route 21 Interchange Improvements will alleviate the extremely poor condition and geometric concerns associated with six existing ramp and mainline structures in the vicinity of the Route 280 Interchange with McCarter Highway (Route 21). Additionally, the proposed improvements will modify the existing interchange to provide all interchange movements between Route 280 and Route 21.

   
Q. What is the schedule?
A:

The project schedule is:

 
Community Outreach Ongoing since 2001
Begin Interim Preliminary Design Fall 2010
Complete Interim Preliminary Design Winter 2012
Complete Final Design Winter 2013
Complete Plans, Specifications and Estimate (PS&E) Summer 2014
Award construction contract Spring 2015
Substantial completion of construction Fall 2018

Please note that the schedule may change based on funding, right of way availability or permitting issues during final design and construction.

   
Q. How much will it cost and who will pay for it?
A:

The estimated cost for this project is approximately $90 million. Federal funds are being used for this project.

   
Q. What will the area look like when the work is completed?
A: The map shows a rendering of the proposed improvements in the final phase.
   
Q. How will motorists be notified when work on certain parts of Route 280 and/or Route 21 affect their daily commute?
A: Signs will be placed along the highways to inform drivers of upcoming construction activities, lane shifts, lane closures, ramp closures and detours. The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) will provide drivers with information about traffic changes on this project web site and on the 511NJ Traveler Information web site.
   
Q. How will NJ TRANSIT bus routes be impacted by the project?
A:

NJDOT is coordinating with NJ TRANSIT Bus Planning Services on the potential impacts of the project on existing bus lines. The bus routes traveling along Broad Street through the project area may only be affected by slight construction delays. However, the Route 280 eastbound (Ramp E) will have to be re-routed while that ramp is closed. NJ TRANSIT is aware of this temporary closure and is planning accordingly. NJ TRANSIT riders will be notified in advance of changes to bus routes due to the construction of this project.

   
Q. How will NJ TRANSIT rail service be impacted by the project?
A:

NJDOT is coordinating with NJ TRANSIT Rail on the construction activities near the railroad facilities. During such activities slight delays may be realized for rail passengers. NJ TRANSIT is aware of the adjacent construction work and is planning accordingly. NJ TRANSIT riders will be notified in advance of changes to rail schedules due to the construction of this project.

   
Q. Will they be working at night?
A:

There will be some construction activities that need to be performed during night hours in order to minimize impact on traffic and meet schedule deadlines. Every effort will be made to limit night work adjacent to residential communities within the project area. City Noise Ordinance and allowable working hours regulations will be followed for this project.

   
Q. How will the project affect parking?
A: In order to facilitate construction, parking along Grant and Spring Streets may be temporarily reduced for a short period at the start of construction. The elimination of the Route 280 westbound to Grant Street ramp will result in a reduction of traffic volume, allowing parking on both sides of Grant Street. A total of 15 additional parking spaces are being proposed on Grant Street resulting in no parking spaces lost overall in this area. There is no anticipated parking loss on Eighth Avenue.
   
Q. Are there workforce plans to hire locally during construction?
A:

Based on a meeting held with NJDOT Office of Civil Rights, Federal Highway Administration (FWHA) funded projects are not allowed to provide language regarding local hiring. However, at that meeting it was agreed that the contractor, as well as NJDOT, could have a community affairs person for coordination. NJDOT is currently in the review process to provide a Contractor Community Affairs Manager. The Community Affairs Manager will coordinate with NJDOT's Community and Constituent Relations Manager.

   
Q. What are the present plans to mitigate long-term noise impacts?
A:

The Route 280, Route 21 Interchange Improvements Project is primarily an operational improvement project which also includes the addition of several missing moves to the interchange. Accordingly, the project is not a capacity improvement project, and is not anticipated to result in an increase in the noise level.

The potential inclusion of noise walls in the project was presented to the community at the June 18, 2009 Public Information Center and in subsequent meetings. Community opinions on the proposed noise walls were received by the NJDOT at these meetings and through correspondence, expressing concerns that the noise wall would act as a visual barrier and negatively impact the neighboring community. Due to the overwhelming opposition to the noise wall, it was removed from the project and a resolution of support was passed by the City of Newark in June 2010.

   
Q. Will there be increased noise to the area during construction?
A:

The area within the Route 280, Route 21 Interchange Improvements Project limits will likely experience an increase in noise levels during the construction phase. To the extent practical, the project will incorporate construction noise specifications in order to limit the noise level during construction. These specifications may include limitations on the type of equipment, times of operations and other special measures to be used in the vicinity of the residential neighborhood, in accordance with the City of Newark noise ordinances.

   
Q. Will the project affect historic resources within the project area?
A:

Numerous historic resources listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places are located within the immediate vicinity of the project area.

Resources on the New Jersey and National Register of Historic Places:

  • House of Prayer Episcopal Church and Rectory (Plume House)
  • State Street Public School
  • Broad Street Station

Resources eligible for listing on the New Jersey and National Register of Historic Places:

  • Grant Street/Eighth Avenue Historic District
  • Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Newark Grade Crossing Elimination Historic District
  • Martin Luther King Boulevard Railroad Bridge
  • University Avenue Railroad Bridge
  • Broad Street Railroad Bridge
  • Old Main, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Historic District
  • Newark Drawbridge
  • Christian Gisch Row Houses Site (28-Ex-99)
  • James Latimer House Site (28-Ex-100)
  • The City of Newark Sewers
  • The Pavilion Apartments

Through coordination with the New Jersey State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), it was determined that the project would have an Adverse Effect on the Grant Street/Eighth Avenue Historic District as a result of the construction of a retaining wall along Grant Street and an Adverse Effect on the Plume House, a contributing element of the House of Prayer Episcopal Church and Rectory property. The NJDOT, FHWA and SHPO entered into a Memorandum of Agreement outlining five stipulations for the project to mitigate the Adverse Effect including:

  • Archeological Survey: Perform an archaeological survey in areas where new construction will occur. This will confirm that no important archaeological information will be lost during construction.
  • Compatible Design: Complete a project design that is best compatible with the historic properties nearby. Local input has been requested. SHPO review and approval of the final plans will be required.
  • Construction Monitoring: Monitor the Plume House during construction. This will include a vibration monitoring plan. The SHPO will review and approval this plan prior to implementation.
  • Historic Structures Report: Prepare a Historic Structure Report for the Plume House. A copy will be provided to the House of Prayer Episcopal Church for their use and planning.
  • National Register Nomination: Prepare a National Register Nomination Form for the entire Grant Street/Eighth Avenue Historic District. Once reviewed by the SHPO staff, NJDOT will revise it and submit it to the Newark Preservation and Landmarks Committee, who will assume responsibility for its further progress. The NJDOT submitted the nomination to SHPO in Summer 2012.
   
 
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  Last Updated:  November 13, 2013