The needler in the haystack.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Original Interstate 287 would have bisected Plainfield



Detail from 1995 plan for Interstates in NY metro area.



Reporting from an adventure down the Plainfield rabbit hole: original plans for Interstate 287 would have had it bisecting Plainfield.

While checking details on this weekend's closing of Route 78 for lane shifts during construction, I happened upon the Wikipedia article for the interstate (see here).

Besides giving an historical overview (it was originally planned by NJ as a high-speed state highway bypassing Route 22 in 1927 -- when 22 was known as NJ Route 29, I believe), and re-imagined in the 1950s as a result of the passage of Eisenhower's legislation funding the construction of a federally-funded interstate system of military highways as part of a strategic defense plan against possible war with Russia.



Sign designating the (1927) proposed NJ Route 11.


If you look closely, you will see Route 287 would have sprung from the Turnpike near Metuchen, traveling northward, apparently through the Plainfield Country Club and along Woodland Avenue (thus bisecting Plainfield) before crossing Route 22 near the Sears store and going over the Watchung hills near Bonnie Burn Road.

Some plan, huh?

Wonder what ever happened to it?



The complete 1955 NY-NJ metro Interstate proposal.
(Click to enlarge.)


-- Dan Damon [follow]

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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, but it would have been a lot more direct. Rt 24 helps, but if a person is trying to get from Morristown to points south, there is quite a zig-zag. A straight line is still the shortest distance between two points.

Anonymous said...

This again brings up the question as to why the City must continue to maintain Rout 28 throughout the City when other towns have DOT pay for it.

Anonymous said...

Dan, this is quite a blast from the past. But the proposed highway would probably have run along the border of Scotch Plains and Plainfield. In the 1950's, there was very little development on the great swath of land from the intersection of Maple and Woodland Avenues to Terrill Road near Seventh Street. Sears and Blue Star in the path of the proposed highway had yet to be built. Imagine Plainfield with a highway along its eastern border, cut off from Scotch Plains and with an interchange at Rt. 22. Would it have helped or hurt the city over the past 50 years?