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New Jersey Route 120

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Route 120 marker

Route 120
Paterson Plank Road
Route information
Maintained by NJDOT
Length: 2.65 mi[1] (4.26 km)
Existed: 1990s – present
Major junctions
South end: Route 3 in East Rutherford
  CR 503 in East Rutherford
North end: Route 17 in Carlstadt
Counties: Bergen
Highway system
Route 109 US 122

Route 120 is a state highway located in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. It extends 2.65 mi (4.26 km) from an interchange with Route 3 in East Rutherford to another interchange with Route 17 in Carlstadt, where it continues to the west as County Route 120. NJ 120 serves the Meadowlands Sports Complex, which consists of MetLife Stadium, Meadowlands Racetrack, and the Izod Center. It heads north from Route 3 as a six-lane freeway through the sports complex to an interchange with the southern terminus of County Route 503. From here, Route 120 heads northwest along the northern edge of the sports complex as a four-lane divided at-grade Paterson Plank Road, passing through industrial and commercial areas.

In 1927, Route 3 was legislated along the Paterson Plank Road portion of present-day Route 120. It was eventually designated along the entire portion of current Route 120. In 1953, Route 3 was moved to its current freeway alignment, replacing Route S3, and a portion of Route 20 was designated to run from current Route 3 north to Paterson Plank Road while Paterson Plank Road was removed from the state highway system. The portion of Paterson Plank Road that lost its state highway status in 1953 gained it back in 1972, when it became an extension of Route 20 as a result of the construction of the Meadowlands Sports Complex. As this route was not connected to the mainline of Route 20, it was designated Route 120 by the 1990s. As a result of the construction of American Dream Meadowlands, the interchange between Route 3 and Route 120 was improved. An overpass between eastbound Route 3 and northbound Route 120 was completed in 2009 and a flyover from southbound Route 120 to eastbound Route 3 was completed in 2010.

Route description[edit]

Shield for northbound Route 120.

Route 120 begins at an interchange with Route 3 in East Rutherford, heading to the north on a six-lane freeway with a 50 mph (80 km/h) speed limit.[1] The freeway heads north-northeast into the Meadowlands Sports Complex. Here, MetLife Stadium, the home stadium of the New York Giants and New York Jets of the National Football League, is on the west side of the road while the closed Meadowlands Arena and the construction site of American Dream Meadowlands are on the east side of the road.[2] Here, the route becomes a 40 mph (64 km/h) freeway that has two interchanges that provide access to the sports complex. The route comes to an interchange with the southern terminus of County Route 503 (Washington Avenue) and Paterson Plank Road, where Route 120 becomes a four-lane divided surface road that merges with Paterson Plank Road as it heads northwest along the border of Carlstadt to the northeast and East Rutherford to the southwest. Meanwhile, County Route 503 continues north-northeast to head into the eastern part of Carlstadt.[1][2]

Route 120 passes between the Meadowlands Racetrack and New Jersey Transit's Meadowlands Rail Line on the East Rutherford side of the road and commercial and industrial areas on the Carlstadt side of the road, intersecting with Gotham Parkway. The route has a southbound exit and entrance to the Meadowlands Sports Complex before it crosses Berrys Creek. Upon crossing the creek, Route 120 continues northwest through industrial and commercial areas, intersecting with Murray Hill Parkway.[2] A short distance past this intersection, the road becomes a four-lane undivided road that crosses New Jersey Transit’s Pascack Valley Line before coming to an interchange with Route 17.[1][2] Here, Route 120 ends and County Route 120 continues to the west as Paterson Avenue.[1]

County Route 120[edit]

After crossing the Passaic River into Bergen County, the road is called Paterson Avenue and designated as County Route 120, in Wallington, in a residential and light-density commercial area. The road becomes the border between Wallington to the north and East Rutherford to the south. At the end of Wallington, Paterson Avenue is the border between Carlstadt and East Rutherford for a short distance but then the road dips into East Rutherford to avoid a hill (the bypass, which goes over the hill, is called Hoboken Road). The road returns to the Carlstadt/East Rutherford border at Route 17 which it crosses over via an overpass, and is then designated as Route 120 and Paterson Plank Road for a distance.[3]


Northbound Route 120 approaching the exit for County Route 503.

In the 1927 New Jersey state highway renumbering, Route 3 was legislated to run along the Paterson Plank Road portion of today’s Route 120 as part of its route between Secaucus and Greenwood Lake.[4][5] By 1947, Route 3 had been designated along the entire alignment of current Route 120.[6] When New Jersey renumbered its state highways in 1953, Route 3 was moved to a new freeway alignment that was Route S3. As a result of this realignment, the portion of the route between modern Route 3 and Paterson Plank Road became a portion of Route 20 while the section along Paterson Plank Road was removed from the state highway system.[7][8] Paterson Plank Road between County Route 503 and Route 17 joined the state highway system again as an extension of this portion of Route 20 in 1972 when the Meadowlands Sports Complex was slated to be built.[9] At this point, Route 20 had consisted of three disconnected segments. Since none of these segments were connected, this portion of road was redesignated Route 120 by the 1990s.[10][11]

With the construction of American Dream Meadowlands, several improvements are taking place to Route 120. The interchange with Route 3 is being reconstructed with an overpass between eastbound Route 3 and northbound Route 120 that was completed in May 2009 at a cost of $38.1 million.[12] Also, a flyover from southbound Route 120 to eastbound Route 3 was completed in early 2010 at a cost of $13 million.[13]

Major intersections[edit]

The entire route is in Bergen County. All exits are unnumbered.

Location mi[1] km Destinations Notes
East Rutherford 0.00 0.00 Route 3 to N.J. Turnpike / Meadowlands Parkway – Secaucus, Clifton, Lincoln Tunnel, New York City
Meadowlands Sports Complex
1.03 1.66 CR 503 north (Washington Avenue) – Moonachie Southern terminus of CR 503
North end of freeway
Carlstadt 2.65 4.26 Route 17 (11th Street) Interchange
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Route 120 straight line diagram" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 30, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d Google (June 30, 2009). "overview of New Jersey Route 120" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved June 30, 2009. 
  3. ^ "County Route 120 Straight Line Diagram" (PDF). Trenton, New Jersey: New Jersey Department of Transportation. 2009. p. 1. Retrieved December 7, 2009. 
  4. ^ State of New Jersey, Laws of 1927, Chapter 319.
  5. ^ Williams, Jimmy and Sharon. "1927 New Jersey Road Map". 1920s New Jersey Highways. Retrieved 2008-10-08. 
  6. ^ Newark 1:250,000 quadrangle (Map). United States Geological Survey. 1946. Retrieved June 30, 2009. 
  7. ^ 1953 renumbering. New Jersey Department of Highways. Retrieved July 31, 2009. 
  8. ^ "New Road Signs Ready in New Jersey". The New York Times. December 16, 1952. Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  9. ^ State of New Jersey, Laws of 1972, Chapter 209.
  10. ^ State Farm Road Atlas (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally. State Farm Insurance. 1983. 
  11. ^ United States-Canada-Mexico Road Atlas (Map). Rand McNally. 1996. 
  12. ^ Brennan, John (May 1, 2009). "Newstracker: Road, rail improvements on track for Xanadu project". The Record. Highbeam Research. Retrieved 2013-10-11.  (subscription required)
  13. ^ Brennan, John (November 17, 2008). "Finally on Track: Sports complex rail, roads racing to the finish line". The Record. vLex. Retrieved 2013-10-11.  (subscription required)

External links[edit]

Route map: Google

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