Department of Transportation

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this work necessary?
The interchanges are geometrically deficient and create a major bottleneck for vehicles traveling in either direction. Heavy traffic volume during peak periods, inadequate or nonexistent acceleration and deceleration lanes and shoulders lead to irregular driver maneuvers .
What is the schedule?

The project schedule is:

Community Outreach Ongoing since 2000
Feasibility Assessment Phase Completed in 2001
Environmental Document approval Completed in August 2003
Preliminary Engineering Phase Completed in August 2008
Final Design Phase initiated February 2009
Environmental permits secured July 2014
Substantial completion of construction End of 2017
Construction Phase(s) 2015 - 2024
Has the project’s design been finalized?
Construction Contract was awarded on October 29, 2015 with construction activities beginning in December 2015. Construction for Contract A is substantially complete in October 2019. Contract B is awarded and began Construction from February 2020. The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) will continue to seek community input on the proposed transportation improvements for Contract B.
How much will it cost and who will pay for it?
The estimated cost of entire project will be over $250 million in federal and state funds.
What will the area look like when the work is completed?
The map of the project shows the proposed improvements.
What parts of Route 46 and Route 3 will be affected?
Route 46 from west of the interchange with Lower Notch Road in Little Falls and Woodland Park to Rock Hill Road in Clifton, and Route 3 from its interchange with Valley Road to Grove Street in Clifton will be affected.
Does NJDOT plan to widen Route 46 or Route 3?
No. Route 46, Route 3 and the various interchanges will be replaced, realigned and relocated. Additional acceleration/deceleration lanes and improved shoulders will be constructed as well as new on-ramps and off-ramps at the interchanges. These ramps will include exclusive left-turn lanes at the terminals. Traffic signals will also be provided and will have coordinated timing to provide an optimum level of service.
Are noise walls or other sound barriers part of the plan?
Noise studies were performed during Preliminary Design to determine existing conditions and the effects of proposed construction to determine if noise mitigation was warranted. During the Final Design phase, mitigation measures such as architectural enhancement screens, landscaping, etc. were discussed with local officials and residents. As part of the project improvements, five noise walls have been proposed to mitigate noise levels within Little Falls, Clifton and Woodland Park.
Will Route 3 or Route 46 be closed during construction?
No. During construction traffic will be maintained to provide uninterrupted service in each direction during morning and evening peak hours.
How will motorists be notified when work on certain parts of Route 46 and Route 3 affect their daily commute?
NJDOT will use variable message signs, radio, traffic reports and its web site to alert motorists.
What could delay this project?
Risks including Utility, Blasting, Transit, and Local/Business cooperation. The department is continuously mitigating to minimize delays.
What are the environmental elements?
Environmental challenges that can influence the design include: wetlands, threatened and endangered species, noise and air quality, hazardous materials and socioeconomic considerations. A Categorical Exclusion Document was approved for the project and environmental permits have been received from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
Will any businesses or residences need to be acquired or relocated in order to complete the proposed improvements?
Based upon the Proposed Improvements Plan, several residential and commercial properties in all three municipalities were either partially or entirely acquired. For any relocations, NJDOT was responsible for paying for the cost of the move, the hiring of the mover and the finding of a new home for the property owner. The relocations were completed on a case-by-case basis.
Will there be increased noise or pollution to the area during construction?
Contract documents will require the construction contractor to conform to all federal and state laws and regulations. Further mitigation measures may be required for construction equipment, because of nearby residences.
Will there be night construction?
Construction hours will be specified to minimize disruption to the local community. However, some night work that conforms to local ordinances may be required to minimize disruption to daily traffic and optimize the construction schedule.
How will local air quality be affected by the proposed improvements?
Traffic flow will improve and fewer idling vehicles should decrease air pollution.
How is emergency access being addressed throughout the Route 3 and Route 46 project area?
The safety of highway users is a paramount goal of NJDOT. This project is based on the need to improve safety conditions. Emergency access will be enhanced throughout much of the project corridor.
Will there be detours and delays?

NJDOT recognizes that a project of this magnitude requires a carefully planned, designed and implemented construction traffic mitigation plan to provide safe traffic flow through the project area. Maintenance and Protection of Traffic (MPT) strategies have been developed for Contract A to accommodate the required construction operations and to manage work zone effects on transportation and transportation-dependent services and facilities. Motorists can expect the following traffic impacts during construction:

  • Route 3 and Route 46 will remain open at all times; however, temporary lane closures will be required, and will be implemented in accordance with the Project's Allowable Lane Closure Schedule. In general, all lanes and shoulders must remain open during the morning peak and evening peak periods.
  • Existing ramps will be generally open except for short duration and evening closures. When possible, temporary detours for ramp closures will occur during overnight hours when traffic volumes are less. The volume of traffic traveling the detour route will not much impact traffic operations.
  • Local roadways will remain open to traffic during construction except for intermittent lane closures on Lower Notch Road and Valley Road.
What is happening at the present time?
The Contract B was awarded in late fall 2019 and construction activities began in February 2020.
How can I stay informed or offer suggestions?
Check this web site regularly for updated information and also attend Public Information Center meetings.
What if I have other questions or concerns about the project?
NJDOT encourages community members to voice their concerns and contribute suggestions to the Project Team. To provide input, attend one of the public meetings or contact:
Office of Community and Constituent Relations
New Jersey Department of Transportation
1035 Parkway Avenue
Trenton, NJ 08625

Last updated date: October 26, 2020 11:44 AM