Every state has strange interchanges. But the strange interchanges in New Jersey are often stranger than the ones in other states.

I once read a story where an auto mechanic asked a miser who had car trouble: "How did you save money on it? Tell me so I know how to fix it." This question shows the reason why some of the strange interchanges in New Jersey were built:

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The strange interchanges in New Jersey fall into several categories:

This is a process used by New Jersey (and several other states) to convert intersections into interchanges as cheaply as possible. They built the interchange around the intersection and then turned the intersection into the ramp terminals.
Where there is relatively low traffic and restrictions on room or real estate cost exist, a two-quadrant parclo (partial cloverleaf, also called a folding diamond) may be "kitbashed" from an existing crossroads. This is cheap to build, using existing pavement. A new bridge is built over the expressway, bypassing the existing intersection. Then the intersection is made into the on and off ramp connections to the expressway. The S-curves align the old cross street to the bridge, and the pre-existing buildings remain on the ramps.

This one with construction stages (simulated) is near Bound Brook NJ, where US-22 (E-W) crosses Somerset County Road 525 (N-S).

2 quadrant parclo before modification build a bridge build connecting structures remove the old intersection
2-quadrant parclo in Nutley (has equivalent function) Original configuration (with the land cleared) The overpass is built next to the intersection The connecting ramps for the bridge are built Interchange is done (intersection is removed)


2 quadrant parclo nj-4 nj-4 us-9 nj-10 at NJ-53 nj-17 nj-17 nj-17
NJ-4 (E-W) at Spring Valley Rd (N-S) in Paramus NJ-4 (E-W) at Queen Anne Rd (N-S) in West Englewood US-9 (N-S) at cty (county) 615 (NE-SW) in Parlin NJ-10 (NW-SE) at NJ-53 (N-S) in Littleton NJ-17 (NW-SE) at Spring St (NE) and Island Rd (S-W) in Ramsey NJ-17 (N-S) at cty 502 (E-W) at Ho-Ho-Kus NJ-17 (N-S) at Century Rd (E-W) in Paramus
us-22 nj-35 nj-87 nj-208 nj-208 nj-208 gsp
US-22 (NE-SW) at Park Ave (NW-SE) in Scotch Plains NJ-35 (NW-SE) U-turn and local in Morgan Heights NJ-78 (NE-SW) U-turn and parking in Brigantine NJ-208 (NW-SE) at cty 19a (NE-SW) in Franklin Lakes NJ-208 (NW-SE) at cty 6 (NE-SW) in Midland Park NJ-208 (NW-SE) at cty 87a (NE-SW) in Wyckoff Garden State Pw and US-9 (N-S) at cty 527 (NW-SE) in Toms River


nj-4 nj-4 nj-17 US-9 nj-29 nj-42 nj-18
NJ-4 (E-W) at Ikea Dr (N) and Garden State Plaza Bv (S) in Paramus (S-shape) NJ-4 (SE-NW) at cty-17 (E) and Cave Rd (W) in Teaneck (two overpasses) NJ-17 (N-S) at Ramapo Ave (E-W) in Mahwah (3 quadrant and crossroad) US-9 (N-S) at NJ-3 (NE-SW) and Gordons Corner Rd (E-W) in Gordons Corner (3-way) I-295 (E-W) at NJ-29 (N-S) in Scudder Falls (2 quadrant with roundabouts) NJ-42 (N-S) at cty-673 (NE-SW) and 762 (NW) (two overpasses and roundabouts) ^ NJ-18 (SE-NW) at cty 615 (E-W) and 527 (N-S) in East Spotswood (crossroads)


nj-17 nj-4 cloverleaf nj-17 cloverleaf two mj-17 cloverleafs us-22 cloverleaf nj-23 cloverleaf nj-23
NJ-4 (E-W) at NJ-39 (N-S) in West Englewood (street connections) NJ-4 (SE-NW) at NJ-93 (NE-SW) in Englewood (uses existing streets) NJ-17 (SE-NW) at Lake St (N-W), and Crescent Ave (NE) in Ramsey (uses streets) NJ-17 (SE-NW) at cty-82 (E), 71 (N), 110 (E-W), 75 (N-S), in Ridgewood (two cloverleafs) US-22 (E-W) at cty 577 (NE-SW) in Springfield (uses streets, distorted ramps) US-202 and NJ-23 (N-S) at cty-683 (E-W) in Mountain View (uses streets) US-202 (N-W) and NJ-23 (N-S) at cty-688 (SE), and 670 (NE) in Mountain View (use streets) ^
nj-4 US322 cloverleaf nj-17 cloverleaf I-287 nj-17 i-295 nj-4
NJ-4 (E-W) at cty-13 (NE-SW) in Paramus (around existing buildings) US-322 (SE-NW) at NJ-54 (NE-SW) in Folsom (ramps avoid buildings) NJ-17 (N-S) at Allendale Rd (E-W) in Saddle River (kitbashed to existing road) I-287 (NE-SW) at Maple Ave (SE-NW) and Verizon Way (E-W) (two parclos) NJ-17 (SE-NW) at cty-7 (NE-SW) and Prospect St (E-W) in Waldwick (cloverleaf for 6-way) I-295 (N-S) at NJ-33 (SE-W), cty-535 (NW), 652 (E), and 606 (SW) in Creston (split-clo) ^ NJ-4 (SE-NW) at cty 503 (N-S) in Hackensack (3 quadrant and jughandles)


incomplete parclo nj-4 incomplete parclo nj-17 us-9 incomplete nj-208 nj-17 I-80 gsp
NJ-4 (E-W) at NJ-20 (N-S) in Eastland (no northbound entrance - use 33rd St.) NJ-17 (N-S) at Midland Ave (SE-NW) and Mack Dr (NE) in Paramus (no Mack left) Garden State Pw (NE-SW) at US 9 (SE-NW) in Toms River (only 3 movements allowed) NJ-208 (SE-NW) at cty-78 (NE-SW) in Fairlawn (3 rights and 1 left provided NJ-17 (N-S) at Racetrack Rd (E, W) in Ho-Ho-Kus (no lefts or overpass crossing 17) I-80 at I-280 and US-46. (all E-W) in Parsippany (Eb to E, Wb to W - no access 280 and 46) ^ Garden State Parkway (NE-S) at US-46 (E-W), NJ-19 (N-S), cy-509 (NW-SW), 702 (E) (few turns) ^^


A pretzel interchange usually has many of the following properties:
  1. Old design partly based on the design of the old traffic circle
  2. Reduced number of bridges needed for the interchange
  3. Left-hand ramps
  4. Weaving sections
  5. Lack of lane balance
  6. Sharp turns
  7. Lack of space between ramps
  8. Roads that curve back toward the interchange center
  9. One can drive around and around in the interchange without leaving it
pretzel wentzville

The Wentzville Missouri pretzel interchange
I-70 (E-W) at I-64 (s), US-40 (S-W) and US-61 (N-S) (all movements are possible)

Union NJ pretzel i-80 i-80
The page author's favorite New Jersey interchange: Garden State Parkway (NE-SW) at US-22 (ENE-WSW) and NJ-82 (SE-NW) in Union (all movements are possible) ^^ I-80 (E-NW) at US-46 (sE), NJ 94 (SW), 611 (NE-SW) in Warrington (all movements are possible) ^^ I-80 (E-W) at NJ-15 (SE-NW), cty-634 (S-N) and Dewey Ave (SW) in Wharfton (Missing movements use cty-634 and Dewey Ave) ^^
i-80 us-22 i-195
I-80 (NE-W) at US-46 (E-SW), NJ-23 (NW-SW), cty-640 (N-S) and cty-642 (NE) in Totowa (All movements are possible if Eb I-80 takes cty-642 exit to reach NJ-23) ^ I-78 (NE-SW) at US-22 (E-W) in Annandale (the U-turns at the ends of divided US-22 make all movements possible) ^ I-195 (NE-SW) at cty-524 (E-W) and 620 (NW) in Trenton ^^
i-287 us-22 us-22 nj-35
I-287 (SE-NW) at cty-527 (SE-NW) in Bound Brook (note the U-turns) ^ US-22 (E-W) at US-202 and US-206 (N-SW), Bridge St (SE), and cty-643 (S-N) in Bridgewater (bridge St - right- is a full cloverleaf and a turnback) ^ I-78 and US-22 (E-SW) at NJ-31 (SE-NW), cty-173 (W) and 626 (NE-NW) in Annandale ^
nj-35 nj-35 nj-35
NJ-35 (SE-NW) at cty 516 (NE-SW), and 6 (N) in Keyport (U-turn for right image) ^ NJ-35 (SE-NW) at NJ-36 (NE-SW) in Keyport (uses U-turn site at next interchange northwest in next panel left for missing movements) ^ Garden State Pw (N-S) at US-9 (N-S), nj-440 (E-W), nj-35 (NE-S), cty-184 (N-E) and cty-624 (SE-SW) in Hopelawn (complete when all 3 interchanges are taken together - US-9 straddles GSP to north and is east of GSP on bridges south of image) ^^
us-9, nj-3 nj-17 us-1 us-202 US-46 i-80
NJ-3 (NW-E) at NJ-17 (N) and frontage roads in Rutherford ^^ US-1 (SW-NE) at NJ-33 (E) and 29 (NW-S) in Trenton (triangle of interchanges work together) ^ NJ-35 (NW-SW) at cty 40A (NE) and Sylvania Ave (E-NW) in Neptune City (complete) ^^ US-202 (NE-SW) at NJ-29 (N-SE) and PA-32 (NW-S) in Lamberts Hill NJ ^^ Garden State Pw (W-NE) at US-46 (SW-E), NJ-20 (N), and 21 (SE) in Lakeview ^^ I-80 (W-E) at NJ-20 (N-S), and 624 (SW), in Lakeview (multiple street connections) ^^
i-78 i-287 us-22 nj-4 nj-35 nj-17
I-78 (SW-E) at US-22 (NW-E), cty-122 (W), and 173 (SE) in Still Valley ^^ U-278 (NE-SW) at cty-663 (N-S) and Harter Rd (W) in Pruddentown (split parclo) ^^ US-22 (SW-E) at NJ-122 (SW-N) in Phillipsburg (split parclo with U-turns)^^ NJ-4 (SW-E) at NJ-75 (N-SE), 79 (S), and cty-208 (NW) in Arcola (4q cloverleaf and rebound) ^^ NJ-35 (NW-SE) at NJ-66 (W) and NJ-16 (E) in Whitesville (wacky 4-way roundabout) ^^
i-80 i-95 nj-440 us-22 i-80
Palisades Interstate Pw at US-9W in Twombly Landing I-80 (E-W) at Littleton Rd (SW-NE) and Cherry Hill Rd (N) in Parsippany (complete) ^^ I-95 (N-S) at US-46 (E-W), cty-39  (SW) and 33 (NE) in Ridgefield Park (Eb to Nb use 39 to 33) ^^ NJ-440 (SW-E) at Pulaski St (SW-E) and Port Jersey Bv (SW-E) in Bayonne ^^ US-22 (SW-NE)at cty-531 (NW-E) and Somerset St (SE-W) in Netherwood (double parclo) ^^ I-80 (W-E) at US-46 (SW-S), cty-631 (NW) and cty-616 (NE) in Shippenport (U-turn NE, S) ^^ US-46 (NW-SE) at NJ-17 (N-S), Terrace Ave (W-N), and Green St (S-E) in Hackensack ^^
nj-18 gsp
(NJ-73, 38, and 41 - image at right)
FROMTO Wb-73TO Eb-73 TO Wb-38TO Eb-38TO Nb-41TO Sb-41
Wb-38Eb-38 Wb-38
straight Wb-38Eb-38 Wb-38
Eb-73 Nb-41
straight Nb-41Sb-41
2 ways
Eb-73 #2
Eb-38 straightU Sb-41
2 ways
Wb-38Eb-38 U Nb-41straight
NJ-18 (N-S) at cty-535 (SW-NE) and Milltown Rd (W-E) in Tanners Corners ^ Garden State Pw (N-S) at NJ-33 (W-SE) and NJ-66 (W-NE) in Hamilton (U-turns) ^^
US-1 (S-N) at cty-514 (W-E) in New Brunswick (a full cloverleaf made entirely of surface streets) ^ This was a 6-leg intersection. It was kitbashed into this interchange.
This method can be used to analyze any complex interchange.
NJ-73 (NW-SE) at 38 (W-E) and 41 (NE-SW) in Cherry Valley (all movements are possible - see table at left) ^^


hj29 i-295 i-295 i-287 i-287
NJ-29 (N-S) at cty-175 (SE) in Scudder Falls (note the left turns from 29) ^^ I-295 (E-W) at US-130 (NE-W), cty-642 (NW-S), and Academy Ave (S) in Westville (note left turn from US-30 and rebound interchanges with 642 and Academy) ^^ Garden State Pw (E-W) at I-295 (NE-W), US-40 (SE-W), NJ-49 (N-SW), and 140 (N-SE) in Churchtown (note rebound interchanges using 49 for 295, 40, and GSP and alternate paths using 140) ^
nj-10 nj-10 nj-10 us-46 us-1
NJ-10 (W-E) at cty-617 (SE) in Succasunna (missing turns on other roads) ^^ NJ-10 (W-E) at Dryden Way (N) in Littleton (note turnback for 10) ^^ NJ-10 (E-W) at cty-665 (N) in Doyer (kitbashed intersection, allows driveways) ^^ US-46 (E-W) at Willowbrook Bv (SW-SE) and Mayfield Rd (N) in Two Bridges ^^ US-1 (N-S) at cty-50 (E-W) in Grantwood (left and U turns diverted under bridge) ^^ I-287 (N-S) at NJ-124 (W-E) and cty-60t (W-S) in Morristown (trumpet - diamond mitosis) ^^ I-287 (N-S) at NJ-17 (SE) in Mahwah (rebound with turnback and parclo) ^^


ft lee
The George Washington Bridge interchange in Ft Lee
I-95 (NW-SE) at Palisades Interstate Pw (NE), US-1, 9, and 46 (SW-SE), US-9W (N), and NJ-4 (NW)
U-turn sites are found at US-9w (wide overpass just right of bottom center) and the west connection to Palisades Interstate Pw (last overpass at left center).



The very first cloverleaf interchange in the world was built at what are now US-1/US-9 and NJ-35 in Woodbridge NJ (left photo). It opened in 1929.

Note that it used yield signs at the ends of the ramps, rather than using the weaving lanes we use today.

The loop ramps are also of the oldest design - the "mouse-ear" loop ramps that require lower speeds, instead of the circular ramps used today.

They wanted to preserve it as a historic site, But because it was in the way of the traffic on these routes and because it had undergone too many modifications in the intervening years, they photographed and documented it.

It was rebuilt into the 5-ramp parclo in the middle photo in 2007. Both highways were widened.


This at-grade cloverleaf (far right) at cty-549 and cty-571 in Toms River NJ is just like a standard cloverleaf except for one thing: Instead of an overpass where the two highways cross, there is a traffic light. All turns are made using the ramps.

first cloverleaf 1st clov redo at-grade clov

The design rules for interchanges were not known in the early days of highway design. They violated these rules:

At least 3/4 mile between ramps, no left side ramps, no short weaving spaces, don't weave major movements, must have acceleration and deceleration lanes, avoid sharp turns, interchanges must be complete.

US-1 and 9 (NE-SW) at NJ-35 (SE-NW) in Woodbridge (the first cloverleaf ever built) US-1 and 9 (NE-SW) at NJ-35 (SE-NW) in Woodbridge (2007 rebuild of first cloverleaf) cty-571 (NW-SE) at cty-549 (NE-SW) in Toms River (an at-grade cloverleaf)