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route 21/newark city subway extension graphic


The construction on this project has been completed.


Two interrelated transportation projects valued at $357 million have been completed in downtown Newark. The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) has improved and reconstructed Route 21 (McCarter Highway) and, at the same time, NJ TRANSIT built the first segment of the Newark City Subway Extension (NCSE), a light rail project. These projects will provide a more efficient way for commuters and motorists to travel to and around downtown Newark.

Route 21 (McCarter Highway)

The purpose of this project is to improve traffic flow along Route 21 (McCarter Highway) in Newark and its intersections with city streets. Crosswalks have been provided at all signalized intersections and sidewalks have been built on both sides of Route 21 to improve pedestrian safety.

The NJDOT constructed three through lanes for traffic in both the northbound and southbound directions and auxiliary turning lanes at most signalized intersections with city streets.

Aesthetic enhancements such as decorative crosswalks and sidewalks, granite curb, decorative traffic signals and roadway lighting, stamped concrete gutters and trees are a part of this project.

Most on-road construction was performed at night and on the weekends. Off-road construction took place during the day. To minimize traffic congestion during construction, the NJDOT maintained at least two lanes of traffic in each direction during weekday hours.

This project extends from Green Street to Passaic Street. The construction work has been broken into three different contracts as follows:
  • Raymond Boulevard to I-280 Interchange
  • Green Street to Raymond Boulevard
  • I-280 Interchange to Passaic Street

Newark City Subway Extension (NCSE)

The first segment of NERL is a one-mile, five station light rail extension of the Newark City Subway. The project will connect Newark Penn Station with Newark Broad Street Station and the Morris & Essex Lines, offering NJ TRANSIT users an eight-minute ride between the two stations, with stops along the way serving the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, The Newark Museum, Newark Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium, and the Broad Street commercial district. The first segment will be mainly at street level; part of the route will be alongside the new alignment of McCarter Highway.

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  Last Updated:  January 18, 2013