Community opposition to the elevated roadway proposal led to the adoption of an alternative routing that would swing run from the Stickel Bridge, continue west between Orange Street and Sussex Avenue, and rejoin the original routing along the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad (now New Jersey Transit).
This alternative allowed for I-280 to be constructed as a partially depressed roadway through Newark and East Orange.
The I-280 connection between the Stickel Bridge and the New Jersey Turnpike opened in 1980.The multi-lane left exit for EXIT 13 was to have been used for the unbuilt NJ 75 Freeway.(Photo by David Golub, Interstate 280, originally known as the Essex Freeway, had its beginnings as NJ 25A, a 1.1-mile-long highway connecting Clifton Avenue in downtown Newark with Grant Avenue in Harrison. Stickel Memorial Bridge, a four-lane span carrying NJ 25A over the Passaic River, was opened to traffic.In 1957, the Federal Bureau of Public Roads (BPR) authorized construction of the 7 million Essex Freeway between the Bergen-Passaic Expressway (I-80) in Parsippany and the New Jersey Turnpike (I-95) in Kearny.
(The Hoboken Freeway corridor did not receive Interstate funding.) One year later, the Essex Freeway received a new designation: I-280.
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