Portal:New Jersey/Selected article/26

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Route 17 is a state highway in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States, that provides a major route from the George Washington Bridge, Lincoln Tunnel and other northeast New Jersey points to the New York State Thruway at Suffern, New York. It runs 27.20 mi (43.77 km) from Route 7/County Route 507 in North Arlington north to the New York border along Interstate 287 in Mahwah, where New York State Route 17 continues into New York. Between Route 7 and Route 3 in Rutherford, Route 17 serves as a local road. From Route 3 north to the junction with U.S. Route 46 in Hasbrouck Heights, the road is a suburban arterial with jughandles. The portion of Route 17, from US 46 to Interstate 287 near the state line in Mahwah, is an expressway with all cross traffic handled by interchanges, and many driveways and side streets accessed from right-in/right-out ramps from the right lane. For three miles (5 km) north of Route 4, well over a hundred retail stores and several large shopping malls line the route in the borough of Paramus. The remainder of this portion of Route 17 features lighter suburban development. The northernmost portion of Route 17 in Mahwah runs concurrent with Interstate 287 to the New York border.

Prior to 1927, the route was designated as Route 17N, which was to run from Newark to the New York state line. This route had followed various local streets, including the Franklin Turnpike north of Hackensack. In 1927, Route 17N became Route 2, which was designated along the portion of Route 17N between Route 7 in North Arlington to the New York border near Suffern, New York. This route was moved to a multilane divided highway alignment north of Rutherford by 1937. Route 2 became Route 17 in 1942 to match the designation of New York State Route 17 for defense purposes during World War II. The entire Route 17 corridor was once planned to be a freeway until the 1960s and later plans to extend the route south of Route 3 to Interstate 280 in 1972 and to the New Jersey Turnpike in 1987 both failed. Over the years, the portion of Route 17 north of Route 3 has seen many improvements, including the widening of much of the road to six lanes and the removal of most at-grade intersections in the 1950s as well as more recent improvements to the interchanges with Route 4 in Paramus in 1999 and Essex Street on the Lodi/Maywood border in 2008. The route is currently undergoing improvements between Route 3 and U.S. Route 46 and is expected to see improvements from Williams Avenue in Hasbrouck Heights to south of Route 4 in Paramus.