Department of Transportation

I-80 Rockfall Mitigation Photo

Existing Highway Conditions


Interstate 80 (I-80) is a major Interstate Highway in the U.S., running from the New York City Metropolitan Area westward to San Francisco, California. New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) also identifies I-80 as the Christopher Columbus Highway. I-80 in New Jersey runs 68.54 miles from the Delaware Water Gap Toll Bridge in Hardwick Township, Warren County, to its eastern terminus at I-95 in Teaneck Township, Bergen County. The highway is maintained by NJDOT.

Foot travel was not possible through the Delaware Water Gap on the New Jersey or Pennsylvania side as steep rock walls went into the river. In 1830 a road was built on the New Jersey side through the Delaware Water Gap and north toward Pahaquarry. This road, Old Mine Road, runs along the Delaware and was used for transporting copper and slate from nearby mines and quarries, and is believed to have originally been a Native American trail that saw use by fur traders and Dutch settlers.

The Delaware Water Gap Toll Bridge (also known as the I-80 Toll Bridge) carries I-80 across the Delaware River at the Delaware Water Gap, connecting New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The Delaware Water Gap Toll Bridge was opened by the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission in December 1953. At that time, the bridge carried U.S. 611, which continued for four miles in New Jersey to a connection with Route 94. In 1959, I-80 was routed onto the bridge.

Approximately 51,000 vehicles per day pass over the Delaware Water Gap Toll Bridge based on data from the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission's 2018 Annual Report. This equates to approximately 18.5 million vehicles per year passing through this segment of I-80 and the southern portion of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DWGNRA).

The I-80 segment between mileposts 1.04 and 1.45, which is the focus of this rockfall mitigation effort, consists of a concrete median barrier curb flanked by narrow inside shoulders, and two 12-foot lanes in each direction. The outside shoulder widths are six feet on the eastbound side and four feet on the westbound side. Highway lighting foundations are integrated into the westbound barrier curb. Behind and upslope of the westbound barrier curb there is an existing stone wall throughout much of the Project limits. The stone wall is roughly two to six feet in height and is composed of unmortared stacked stones approximately two to four feet in diameter. Construction of this stacked stone likely predates the designation of I-80, which occurred in the late 1950s.

Last updated date: August 26, 2020 2:55 PM