New Jersey Route 4

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Route 4

Mackay Highway
Route 4 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by NJDOT
Length10.83 mi[1] (17.43 km)
Existed1927 (1934 on present alignment)–present
NHSEntire route[1][2]
Major junctions
West end Route 20 in Paterson
Major intersections
East end I-95 / N.J. Turnpike / US 1-9 / US 46 / US 9W in Fort Lee
CountryUnited States
StateNew Jersey
CountiesPassaic, Bergen
Highway system
Route 3 Route 5

Route 4 is a state highway in Bergen County and Passaic County, New Jersey, United States. The highway stretches 10.83 mi (17.43 km) from Route 20 (McLean Boulevard) in Paterson east to an interchange with Interstate 95 (I-95), U.S. Route 1/9 (US 1/9), US 46, and US 9W at the George Washington Bridge approach in Fort Lee.

The route is a four- to six-lane divided road for its entire length, with the portion east of the Route 208 interchange in Fair Lawn a limited-access highway consisting of interchanges and right-in/right-out intersections with many businesses along the road, particularly in Paramus, where the route passes through a major shopping area consisting of numerous malls, Hackensack, Englewood, and Fort Lee. West of Route 208, the route is a surface arterial that runs through commercial areas. Route 4 intersects many important roads, including Route 208 in Fair Lawn and the Garden State Parkway and Route 17 in Paramus. The highway is officially named the Mackay Highway,[3] but is rarely referred to as such.

Originally legislated to traverse the state from Cape May to the George Washington Bridge, Route 4 was reduced to its current alignment in 1953. Today's stretch of the route was completed by 1934; the state planned to upgrade it to a freeway, but plans never materialized. Despite this, the route has seen improvements, such as to the interchanges with Route 17 in 1999 and with Route 208 in 2002.

Route 4 is a heavily used commuter, retail, and long-distance artery. As well as providing a critical commuter route from the Hudson Valley and Bergen County into New York City via the George Washington Bridge, it gives New Yorkers access to popular shopping areas such as Garden State Plaza and Bergen Town Center, and forms part of the straightest route from New York City and Long Island to Upstate and Western New York destinations. Locally, especially west of the Hackensack River, it is seen as a socioeconomic dividing line between wealthier, more affluent suburbs like Ridgewood and Oradell to the north, and more urbanized, industrialized, working-class areas like Hackensack to the south.

Route description

Route 4 eastbound in Fair Lawn

Route 4 starts in Paterson, Passaic County at the intersection of Broadway and East 43rd Street at an interchange with Route 20 (McLean Boulevard), heading east on Broadway, a four-lane, divided highway with a Jersey barrier.[1] The route passes over Route 20 and continues east, crossing the Passaic River into Elmwood Park, Bergen County and passing over County Route 507 (CR 507). Route 4 features a right-in/right-out in the eastbound direction that provides access to CR 507.[1] The route continues east on Broadway as a divided highway with a concrete then a grassy median, with businesses lining both sides of the roadway.[4] At the intersection with Cyril Avenue, Route 4 runs along the border of Elmwood Park to the south and Fair Lawn to the north before entirely entering Fair Lawn, where the route passes under NJ Transit’s Bergen County Line near Broadway station. It intersects CR 67 (Midland Avenue) and continues east as a divided highway with a Jersey barrier through commercial areas of Fair Lawn.[1][4]

Route 4 comes to an interchange Route 208, where the route continues east on the Route 208 alignment, becoming a divided highway with four lanes in the eastbound direction and three lanes in the westbound direction. The interchange between Route 4 and Route 208 also features access to CR 79 (Saddle River Road). The route continues east as a limited-access highway that is lined with businesses.[1][4] Route 4 crosses the Saddle River and then enters Paramus.[1] Upon entering Paramus, Route 4 has a cloverleaf interchange with CR 62 (Paramus Road/Passaic Street). The route features a partial interchange with the Garden State Parkway, with access from westbound Route 4 to the southbound Garden State Parkway and from the northbound Garden State Parkway to eastbound Route 4.[1] Route 4 has an interchange which provides access to the Westfield Garden State Plaza shopping mall, located on the south side of the road, and a large IKEA store, located on the north side of the road.[1][4] Past this, Route 4 features a cloverleaf interchange with Route 17 and continues east as a six-lane divided highway.[1] It interchanges with Spring Valley Road and passes by Bergen Town Center located on the south side of the road. Route 4 interchanges with CR 59 (Forest Avenue/Maywood Avenue).[1][4]

Route 4 westbound in Paramus
The east end of Route 4 at US 9W in Fort Lee

As the road leaves Paramus, businesses no longer line the route.[4] Route 4 enters River Edge, where the route crosses Van Saun Mill Creek, and it heads to the southeast and features ramps that provide access to CR 51 (Kinderkamack Road), which the route passes over along with NJ Transit's Pascack Valley Line just south of the New Bridge Landing station. Upon crossing the Pascack Valley Line, Route 4 heads into Hackensack, where it interchanges with CR 503 (Hackensack Avenue) near The Shops at Riverside. The route crosses the Hackensack River into Teaneck and heads through the campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University.[1][4] Route 4 features ramps that provide access to CR 41 (River Road), which it later passes over.[1] The road continues southeast through wooded residential areas, intersecting a few roads at right-in/right-out intersections, before passing over CSX's River Subdivision line and reaching an interchange with Queen Anne Road . It interchanges with CR 39 (Teaneck Road) and Webster Avenue/Farragut Drive before crossing into Englewood where the route crosses Overpeck Creek and businesses resume along the road with access to businesses and a few local roads provided by right-in/right-out ramps.[1][4] In Englewood, Route 4 passes over CSX's Northern Branch rail line. Englewood Route 4 is a proposed station along Northern Branch Corridor Project extension of Hudson-Bergen Light Rail which would be located under the road.[5] Nearby is a cloverleaf interchange with Route 93 and CR 501 (Grand Avenue).[1] Past this interchange, businesses stop along the road and it continues east with three lanes in the eastbound direction and two lanes in the westbound direction, coming to an interchange with Jones Road . Past this interchange, the road continues south with businesses along the road, crossing into Fort Lee. In Fort Lee, the lanes split as Route 4 approaches I-95, with the eastbound lanes passing over I-95. Route 4 continues south with I-95 in the median, ending at an interchange with I-95, US 1/9, US 46, and US 9W, at the George Washington Bridge approach.[1][4]

The entire length of Route 4 is part of the National Highway System.[1][2]


Broadway Bridge over Passaic River

Route 4 was originally legislated in the 1927 New Jersey state highway renumbering to run from Cape May north to the George Washington Bridge, running through Pleasantville, Toms River, Freehold, Perth Amboy, Rahway, and Paterson.[6][7] The route replaced portions of the alignments of several pre-1927 state highways including Route 14 (chartered 1917) between Cape May and Seaville, Route 19 between Seaville and Absecon (c. 1923, never realized), Route 4 (c. 1916) between Absecon and Lakewood and between South Amboy and Rahway, a spur of Route 7 (c. 1925) between Lakewood and Freehold.[8][9][10] US 9 was also designated along Route 4 between Absecon and Lakewood and from South Amboy to Rahway. By the 1940s, US 9 was realigned to follow Route 4 between Lakewood and South Amboy, having followed portions of today’s Route 88, Route 35, and Route 71 and was extended south along Route 4 to Cape May.[11][12] The section of present-day Route 4 was built beginning 1930 to connect Paterson and the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee. The first section of new highway opened coincident with the George Washington Bridge, allowing access from Grand Avenue in Englewood.[13] An extension of Broadway from Arcola to Grand Avenue in River Edge opened on November 17, 1931.[14] The last section through Englewood and Teaneck was completed and opened July 28, 1932.[15] There were plans made in 1936 to make this portion of Route 4 a limited-access highway; however, World War II delayed plans for the expressway.[16]

By Joint Resolution No. 11, approved June 8, 1935, the New Jersey Legislature designated Route 4 as the Mackay Highway. William B. Mackay, Jr., a Republican from Bergen County, had served in the New Jersey State Senate from 1917 to 1928. Afterwards he served as judge of the Passaic circuit of the New Jersey Supreme Court.[17]

View west along Route 4 just west of Kinderkamack Road in River Edge

Route 4 had several former spur routes that existed prior to the 1953 New Jersey state highway renumbering. Route 4N was designated in 1939 from the portion of pre-1927 Route 4 between Brielle and Eatontown; it is now Route 71.[18][19] Route S4 was defined in 1927 to run to the Outerbridge Crossing in Perth Amboy from present-day Route 35; it was eventually extended to the Garden State Parkway and this route is now Routes 440 and 184. Route S4A was planned in 1927 to run from Atlantic City across swamps to Tuckerton; only a small portion of this route was built and it is now Route 87.[6][19] Route S4B was planned in 1929 to run from Route 4 near Paterson northwest to the New York border, replacing a portion of what was legislated as Route 3 in 1927. The portion of this route that was built between Fair Lawn and Oakland is now Route 208.[19][20] Route S4D was a never built spur in Teaneck proposed in 1938; the proposal was renumbered Route 303.[19][21] Route 4A was created by the 1940s following a realignment of Route 4 (and US 9) between Freehold and Cheesequake; it became Route 79 and a portion of Route 34 in 1953.[12][19] Route 4 Parkway was planned in 1946 as a north–south parkway running from Cape May north to Route 6 (now US 46) in Clifton, bridging the gap that existed along Route 4 between Rahway and Paterson; this proposal became Route 444 (Garden State Parkway).[19][22] Route S4C was a planned route running from Route 4 in Bennett south to Cape May; the general alignment of this route is now Route 162 and Cape May County Route 626.[6][19]

Route 4 eastbound approaching Route 17 interchange in Paramus

In the 1953 renumbering, Route 4 was defined to run along its current alignment between Route 20 in Paterson and the George Washington Bridge. Between Cape May and South Amboy, the Route 4 designation was dropped in favor of US 9 while the portion of the route between South Amboy and Rahway became a part of Route 35.[19] In the mid-1950s, plans resumed for an east–west limited-access highway through Bergen County. Three alignments were proposed in 1956: one along Route 4, one along US 46, and one in between the two routes.[23] The alignment between the two routes was chosen due to the least disruption it would cause and it was built as I-80.[24] In the 1960s, recommendations were made to upgrade Route 4 to a freeway but was cancelled due to feared disruption to residents.[25]

Many improvements have been made to the existing Route 4 arterial. The Route 17 interchange in Paramus was rebuilt at a cost of $120 million in 1999, replacing the 1932 cloverleaf interchange by adding several flyover ramps.[26] In 2002, construction was completed on a $32 million project that improved the interchange with Route 208 in Fair Lawn. This interchange saw improvements of the ramps and bridges, including the Route 208 bridge over Saddle River Road.[27]

Major intersections

All exits are unnumbered.


Route 20 south (McLean Boulevard) to G.S. Parkway / Broadway west
Western terminus; continues west as Broadway
Passaic River0.130.21Route 4 Bridge
BergenElmwood Park0.170.27 CR 507 (River Drive) – Clifton, PassaicEastbound exit and entrance
Fair Lawn1.101.77Midland Avenue south (CR 67)At-grade intersection; no left turn from Route 4 west
2.003.22Western end of limited-access section

Route 208 north – Oakland
Westbound exit and eastbound entrance; southern end of Route 208

Saddle River Road (CR 79) to G.S. Parkway south
Eastbound exit and entrance; other movements via Paramus Road
Paramus2.383.83Paramus Road (CR 62) – RidgewoodEastbound access to Paramus Road south is via Saddle River Road

G.S. Parkway south – Saddle Brook
Westbound exit and eastbound entrance; exit 161 on G.S. Parkway
3.054.91Garden State Plaza/Ikea Drive

Route 17 to G.S. Parkway north – Mahwah, Rutherford
3.896.26Spring Valley Road – Maywood, OradellAccess to Bergen Town Center
4.316.94Forest Avenue/Maywood Avenue (CR 59)Access to Bergen Town Center
River Edge5.25–
Kinderkamack Road (CR 51) – River EdgeAccess via collector/distributor roads
Hackensack5.679.12 CR 503 (Hackensack Avenue) – Hackensack, River Edge, Shops at RiversideCloverleaf interchange
Teaneck6.2310.03River Road (CR 41) – Teaneck, Bogota, New Milford
6.9011.10Belle Avenue – Teaneck
7.1411.49Queen Anne Road – Ridgefield Park, Bergenfield
7.5912.21Teaneck Road (CR 39) – Ridgefield Park, Bergenfield
8.0813.00Webster Avenue/Farragut DriveEastbound exit and entrance
Decatur AvenueWestbound exit and entrance
Englewood8.6713.95Van Brunt Street north – EnglewoodWestbound exit and entrance

Route 93 south / CR 501 north (Grand Avenue) – Leonia, Englewood
Cloverleaf interchange; northern terminus of Route 93
9.6215.48Jones Road
Fort Lee10.2016.42

I-95 north / US 1-9 north / US 46 east (George Washington Bridge Upper Level) – New York City
Eastbound exit and westbound entrance; all trucks to New York

US 9W north / US 1-9 south / US 46 west to Palisades Parkway – Fort Lee
Eastbound exit and westbound entrance; signed as exit 72 in concordance with I-95

I-95 north / US 1-9 north / US 46 east (George Washington Bridge Lower Level) – New York City
Eastern terminus; exit 72A on I-95; no trucks
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Route 4 straight line diagram" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Transportation. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  2. ^ a b National Highway System: New Jersey (PDF) (Map). Federal Highway Administration. September 30, 2020. Retrieved April 11, 2024.
  3. ^ "Route 4 Straight Line Diagram" (PDF). Internet Archives WayBack Machine. New Jersey Department of Transportation. 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 27, 2005. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Google (February 18, 2009). "overview of New Jersey Route 4" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved February 18, 2009.
  5. ^ "Northern Branch Corridor SDEIS FINAL" (PDF). 2017. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  6. ^ a b c State of New Jersey, Laws of 1927, Chapter 319.
  7. ^ 1927 New Jersey Road Map (Map). State of New Jersey. Archived from the original on March 13, 2016. Retrieved October 8, 2008.
  8. ^ Annual Report. New Jersey State Highway Department. 1917.
  9. ^ State of New Jersey, Laws of 1923, Chapter 182-183.
  10. ^ Annual Report. New Jersey State Highway Department. 1916.
  11. ^ Map of New Jersey (Map). Tydol Trails. 1927. Archived from the original on May 14, 2011. Retrieved February 9, 2011.
  12. ^ a b " Map of Pennsylvania and New Jersey (Map). Cartography by H.M. Gousha. Mid-West Map Co. 1941. Retrieved March 29, 2009.
  13. ^ "New Jersey Roads To Bridge Not Completed". The Morning Call. 1931-10-23. p. 3. Retrieved 2024-01-26.
  14. ^ "ROUTE 4 SECTIONS OPEN". The Record. 1931-11-17. p. 1. Retrieved 2024-01-26.
  15. ^ "HUDSON BRIDGE LINK READY; Direct Road to Paterson Will Be Opened on Thursday". The New York Times. 1932-07-24. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-07-16.
  16. ^ "Freeways Are Now Urged". The New York Times. December 13, 1936.
  17. ^ State of New Jersey; Laws of 1935, Joint Resolution No. 11
  18. ^ State of New Jersey, Laws of 1939, complied.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h 1953 renumbering. New Jersey Department of Highways. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. Retrieved July 31, 2009.
  20. ^ State of New Jersey, Laws of 1929, Chapter 126.
  21. ^ State of New Jersey, Laws of 1938, Chapter 134.
  22. ^ State of New Jersey, Laws of 1946, Chapter 117.
  23. ^ Wright, George Cable (January 17, 1956). "Plans for Bergen Expressway Stir Protest in Passaic County". The New York Times.
  24. ^ United States featuring the Interstate Highway System (Map). Cartography by General Drafting. Esso. 1966.
  25. ^ "Expressway Plans". Regional Plan Association News. May 1964.
  26. ^ "Governor Cuts Ribbon for Route 4 and 17 Interchange". New Jersey Department of Transportation. November 24, 1999. Retrieved April 12, 2012.
  27. ^ "Routes 4/208 Construction Fair Lawn, Bergen County Frequently Asked Questions". New Jersey Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 24, 2012.

External links