Route 280 project looks at downside of highway.

The following article was written by Mark Di Ionno for the Star Ledger as part of the coverage of our project.

At the top of First Mountain, Route 280 is cut deep into the dark brown trap rock ridge of the Watchung Mountain range, formed in horizontal igneous layers millions of years ago. The imposing rock wall almost looks man-made, built of rectangular bricks.

This time of year, the other dominant color is forest green, as the blossomed hardwood trees hide surrounding suburban homes and roadways. Here, the entrances and exits of the highway curve and disappear behind the tree-covered mountain cuts.

But as the road descends toward Newark, the steeples and angled rooftops of downtown buildings appear. Cities lie in front of you.

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Can N.J. town split down the middle by Route 280 reconnect?

Star Ledger article by Jessica Mazzola on December 03, 2015.

How have highways divided and defined communities in New Jersey? A new study is looking at the impacts Route 280 has had in urban communities in Essex County to find out.

I-280 in Newark. (Larry Higgs | NJ Advance Media for

A $200,000 study funded by ArtsPlace, a national organization supporting art-based community planning, will look at how the 1960s construction of Route 280 through the center of Orange has impacted the community. The study is one of several initiatives that the Urban Essex Coalition for Smart Growth, a local group working to develop plans for transit-oriented developments in Essex County, will discuss at an upcoming daylong forum.

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