New Jersey Route 3

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Route 3 marker

New Jersey State Highway Routes

Route 3 is a state highway in the northern part of New Jersey in the United States. The route runs 10.84 mi (17.45 km) from U.S. Route 46 in Clifton, Passaic County to U.S. Route 1/9 in North Bergen, Hudson County. Route 3 is sometimes called the Secaucus Bypass within Secaucus. The route is a divided highway for its entire length, with most of the highway to freeway standard except the westernmost part, which contains a few businesses. Route 3 intersects many major roads, including the Garden State Parkway and Route 21 in Clifton, the western spur of the New Jersey Turnpike (Interstate 95) in East Rutherford, the mainline New Jersey Turnpike in Secaucus, and Route 495 in North Bergen. It serves as a commuting route for northern New Jersey to the Lincoln Tunnel into New York City by way of Route 495. Route 3 also provides access to the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford. The road was the inspiration for a story in The New Yorker in 2004 by Ian Frazier.

Route 3 was originally established in 1927 to run from the New York border on the west shore of Greenwood Lake to Secaucus. In 1929, the western terminus was cut back to Paterson when the alignment west of there was planned to become part of Route S4B. Route 3 originally followed present-day Route 20 through Paterson and ran along local streets to East Rutherford, where it followed present-day Route 120 and the Paterson Plank Road to Secaucus. It was extended east to the Lincoln Tunnel in 1939. The freeway section of Route 3 between U.S. Route 46 in Clifton and East Rutherford was completed in the 1940s as Route S3 as well as the Secaucus Bypass, which was designated a bypass of Route 3. Route 3 was moved to the Route S3 freeway and the Secaucus Bypass in 1953 and was truncated to U.S. Route 1/9 in North Bergen in 1958 when the Lincoln Tunnel approach was designated as Interstate 495. The Route 3 freeway has seen many improvements over the years such as widening and interchange reconstructions and is projected to see more improvements such as the replacement of the bridge over the Passaic River.

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