The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), US has started the US$ 149 million Route 3 Passaic River bridge replacement project.

Designed to improve safety and reduce congestion the project will replace the structurally deficient moveable bridge with a new fixed span over the Passaic River.

The current bridge connects Clifton City in Passaic County with Rutherford Borough and Lyndhurst Township in Bergen County over the Passaic River with an average of 142000 vehicles crossing each day, connecting motorists to the Lincoln Tunnel, the Garden State Parkway, Route 17, Route 46 and Route 21.

The existing Route 3 bridge was built in 1949 and has reached the end of its service life. Its substandard acceleration and deceleration lanes and shoulders result in numerous accidents and traffic congestion during peak hours, with this section of Route 3 rated as the most congested freeway section in the state.

To overcome this, NJDOT is replacing the existing structurally deficient movable bridge with a new fixed-span structure that has a service life of 100 years. To relieve congestion and improve safety, lanes with proper acceleration and deceleration lengths will be provided at the bridge approaches. A total of 15 new acceleration and deceleration lanes will be constructed, and the roadway shoulders will be upgraded.

In addition, NJDOT is repairing and upgrading five other bridge structures: Route 3 over Third River; Route 3 over River Road; Route 3 over NJ TRANSIT Main Line; Route 3 over the Route 21 ramps; and Ridge Road over Route 3. Noise barriers will be constructed along Route 3 in Rutherford, Lyndhurst, and Clifton.

The new bridge will provide a 30-ft (9.14 m) vertical clearance over the Passaic River channel and will carry three 12-ft (3.66 m) lanes of traffic in each direction with a median barrier. The new bridge will also feature two 12-ft (3.66 m) auxiliary lanes in each direction. NJDOT designed the new bridge to match the appearance and surface texture of the existing structure.

The federally-funded construction project was awarded on June 24 to J.F. Creamer & Sons in a joint venture with Joseph M. Sanzari, Inc.

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