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Frequently Asked Questions


What is the purpose of this project?
A. The purpose of this project is to reduce congestion and improve safety along Route 17 and Essex Street in the vicinity of the Route 17/Essex Street Interchange in Lodi Borough, Maywood Borough, and Rochelle Park Township, Bergen County by replacing the deteriorating bridge carrying Essex Street over Route 17 (circa 1934) and reconstruct the adjacent interchange ramp connections.


How will the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) achieve these improvements?

NJDOT will:

  • Replace the existing four-lane bridge over Route 17 with a new bridge that carries six lanes, including four through lanes, one exclusive left-turn lane centered between the through lanes and one auxiliary right-turn lane on the eastbound side for access onto Route 17 northbound. The replacement design has a higher elevation than the existing structure, for adequate bridge clearance on Route 17.
  • Replace the existing unsignalized full diamond interchange with a new interchange (pdf 949k) that provides signalized ramp connections in the both the southeast and northwest quadrants. The new Route 17 northbound ramps will tie into Essex Street opposite Maywood Avenue and the new Route 17 southbound ramps will tie into Essex Street between Route 17 and Riverview Avenue, where there is an existing connection for I-80.
  • Widen Route 17 in the vicinity of the interchange to accommodate six lanes of traffic (three lanes in each direction) plus shoulders provide auxiliary (acceleration/ deceleration) lanes for traffic entering or exiting the highway.
  • Widen Essex Street to accommodate five lanes of traffic between Maywood and Riverview Avenues, including four through lanes (two in each direction) and a center-turn lane to facilitate left turns onto intersecting roads and adjacent properties.
  • Make significant drainage improvements along Route 17 to alleviate flooding, including constructing a new drainage system along Route 17 and connecting this new system into the recently constructed existing drainage system along Gregg Street. In addition, the deteriorating open bottom concrete culvert (circa 1911) carrying Lodi Brook under Essex Street west of Route 17 will be replaced with a new concrete box culvert.
  • Construct a new Lodi Municipal Parking Lot on the south side of Essex Street, west of Route 17, to service the adjacent businesses.
  • Construct highway lighting and signing improvements throughout the interchange area, including overhead sign structures on Route 17.

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the PDF file which is available at our state Adobe Acrobat Access page.



How long will it take to complete construction?
A. Based upon the current aggresive acceleration schedule, the construction duration through substantial completion is estimated at about 15 months. Construction began on September 8, 2007 and substantial completion is projected to occur in November 2008.


Will NJDOT close roads and detour traffic during construction?

Yes. NJDOT will:

  • Close portions of Gregg Street, Maywood Avenue and Essex Street and set up detours around the work area during specific stages and for varying durations. NJDOT also will set up detours on the ramps connecting Essex Street to Route 17 northbound and the ramp connecting Essex Street westbound to Route 17 southbound.
  • Close Essex Street Bridge over Route 17 for approximately six months, beginning January 2, 2008, to facilitate the demolition of the existing bridge and construction of the new bridge.
  • Provide temporary traffic signals along detour routes where warranted.
  • Alter and supplement NJ TRANSIT bus routes when the Essex Street Bridge over Route 17 is closed and traffic is detoured.


Does the fact that the project is situated within the limits of the Maywood Superfund Site impact the schedule and/or staging?

Yes. The construction staging is partly tied to the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) remediation of contaminated soil from the Maywood Superfund Site, which is within the project area. The NJDOT project will allow the USACE to access contaminated soil beneath the Route 17 and Essex Street roadbeds in areas where the existing pavement is being excavated. NJDOT and USACE have been coordinating extensively throughout the design process.



What will it cost?

The $68 million total cost for the project consists of $5 million for engineering, $19 million for Right of Way, $9 million for utilities, and $35 million for construction is entirely funded by the Federal Highway Administration.



Was any of the pre-construction activity in the interchange area related to the project?

Yes. NJDOT performed the following work in advance to minimize the duration of the construction contract:

  • Demolishing the former Sears Service Center on the west side of Route 17, the former P&A Auto Parts Store on the north side of Essex Street, and the former Dollar Mania/A&P Liquors on the south side of Essex Street;
  • Closing the Hess Gas Station on the west side of Route 17, near Becker Avenue;
  • Performing advance utility construction; and,
  • Remediating numerous commercial properties within the Maywood Superfund Site by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).


Is the community involved?

Yes. NJDOT has been working with officials from Bergen County and the various municipalities within and surrounding the project area, county and municipal police departments, fire and emergency response units, Hackensack University Medical Center, Garden State Plaza, Bergen Mall, residents and business owners, and NJ TRANSIT.

Public hearings and information centers have been held throughout the project design phase. NJDOT held a pre-construction public information center on July 30, 2007 at the Maywood Library, and will hold an additional public information center before closing the Essex Street Bridge over Route 17.



How will NJDOT address the impacts of the construction on travelers and the community?
A. NJDOT will promote commuter awareness via the use of variable message signs (VMS) that will alert motorists to traffic impacts along Route 17 and Essex Street.


How can travelers obtain commuter and general traffic information?
A. NJDOT will provide commuter and general information for travelers on VMS along Routes 17, 46, I-80, and the Garden State Parkway, and on the NJDOT NJcommuter and Park and Ride Web sites.


Is public transportation available?

Currently NJ TRANSIT provides bus service throughout this area, and supplemental and alternate routes will be added during construction as needed.



Who are the design engineers, the contractors and the resident engineer on the project?
A. NJDOT’s engineering design consultant for project is Taylor Wiseman and Taylor. The contractors are J. Fletcher Creamer and Son, Inc. and Joseph M. Sanzari, Inc., of Hackensack, NJ.
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  Last Updated:  October 31, 2008