New Jersey Route 7

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Route 7

Two segments of Route 7 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by NJDOT, Township of Nutley, and Passaic County
Length9.46 mi[1] (15.22 km)
NHSSouthern section[1][2]
Southern section
Length5.35 mi[1] (8.61 km)
East end
Major intersections
West end Route 21 in Belleville
Northern section
Length4.11 mi[1] (6.61 km)
South endBroadway in Belleville
North endKingsland Road in Nutley
CountryUnited States
StateNew Jersey
CountiesHudson, Bergen, Essex, Passaic
Highway system
Route 6 Route 8

Route 7 is a state highway in the northern part of New Jersey in the United States. It has two sections, an east–west alignment running from U.S. Route 1/9 Truck in Jersey City to Route 21 in Belleville, and a north–south alignment running from the Newark/Belleville to the Nutley/Clifton border. The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) lists Route 7 as a single north–south highway with a small gap between the alignments. The entire highway has a combined length of 9.46 mi (15.22 km).

The southern section of Route 7, which runs from Jersey City to Belleville, passes through industrial areas, the New Jersey Meadowlands, Arlington Memorial Park, and some residential and business areas. West of the interchange with County Route 508 in Kearny, Route 7 is the Belleville Turnpike, a historic road created in 1759. The northern section of Route 7 runs north through residential and business areas of Belleville and Nutley into Clifton, where it turns west and crosses back into Nutley, briefly turning to the north to come to its northern terminus. A portion of the route in Nutley is municipally maintained while the portion within Clifton is maintained by Passaic County. The two separate sections of Route 7 are linked by County Route 506 (Rutgers Street) in Belleville, which is signed as Route 7 despite the fact it is not officially part of the route.

Route 7 was established in 1927 to run from Jersey City to Paterson, replacing pre-1927 Route 11 between Belleville and Paterson. The routing was amended in 1929 to head to Route 3 in Wallington and was extended north to Route 6 (now U.S. Route 46) in East Paterson in 1949. In 1953, the route was modified to follow its current alignment.

Route description

The southern section of Route 7 is part of the National Highway System.[1][2]

Southern section

Route 7 westbound at the eastern terminus of CR 508 in Kearny

The first section of Route 7 begins at an intersection with U.S. Route 1-9 Truck and County Route 645 (Charlotte Avenue) in Jersey City, Hudson County, heading to the west on a four-lane highway that is signed east–west.[1] The route crosses the Hackensack River on the Wittpenn Bridge parallel to Conrail Shared Assets Operations' Passaic and Harsimus Line into Kearny. Route 7 interchanges with County Route 659 (Fish House Road) and widens to a six-lane divided highway. The route then passes by industrial areas and a Conrail Shared Assets Operations railroad yard before it passes over NJ Transit's Morris & Essex Lines and reaches an interchange with County Route 508.[1][3] Past this interchange, Route 7 becomes the four-lane, divided Belleville Turnpike, with the eastern end of the Newark Turnpike running in the division between the two sides of Route 7. It then becomes an undivided two-lane road, heading northwest, narrowing to two lanes before it crosses under Amtrak's Northeast Corridor and passes through the New Jersey Meadowlands. The route crosses under the Eastern Spur of the New Jersey Turnpike (Interstate 95) and then the Western Spur of the turnpike a short distance later before passing over Norfolk Southern's Boonton Line.[1][3]

View west along Route 7 in Kearny

Route 7 continues northwest, widens, with a painted median, as it passes through two large cemeteries on the border of Hudson County (Kearny) to the south and Bergen County (North Arlington) to the north, though the route itself is signed north–south along that border.[4]

After an intersection with Schuyler Avenue (which runs as Hudson County Route 507 to the south of Route 7 and Bergen County Route 130 to the north of Route 7), the road turns NNW, narrowing again to two lanes undivided. In this portion of the route, it had a concurrency with County Route 507 (both Bergen and Hudson counties). It keeps this configuration for about a half mile, as it still runs along the Kearny/North Arlington border. At that point, it meets the southern terminus of Route 17 (Ridge Road) and the northern terminus of County Route 697 (Kearny Avenue).[1][3]

Past this intersection, County Route 507 turns away from Route 7, becoming concurrent with Route 17. by heading north on River Road, while Route 7 continues along Belleville Turnpike for another half mile, Route 7 continues another half mile west, crossing the Passaic River on a lift bridge, known as the Belleville Turnpike Bridge or Rutgers Street Bridge, into Belleville, Essex County, where the local street name changes from Belleville Turnpike to Rutgers Street. The first section of Route 7 ends at an intersection with Main Street underneath the Route 21 freeway.[1][3]

Gap in the route

Route 7 (Washington Avenue) at CR 506 (Rutgers Street) in Belleville. Note that Route 7 is signed to follow Rutgers Street to the right

The intersection of Main St and Rutgers Street in Belleville forms the end of one section of Route 7 (signed north, directionally west). Rutgers Street is named for Colonel Henry Rutgers, an American Revolutionary War hero and benefactor of what is now Rutgers University. For its entire length, Rutgers carries Essex County Route 506, which ends, like Rutgers Street itself, at the Rutgers Street Bridge.[1][3]

Prior to turning onto Rutgers Street, CR-506 runs along Washington Street concurrent with the northern section of Route 7. Though the northern section of Route 7 begins a few blocks south, it is not readily recognized (minimal signing). As CR-506 runs concurrently with it here, and then turns down Rutgers for the short distance that bridges the gap between the two Route 7 sections, Rutgers/506 is often viewed as if it continues Route 7, while the short portion of the northern section that lies south of Rutgers is sometimes seen as a spur, even though it is part of the main route.[1][3]

Rutgers' identity has become so closely aligned with Route 7, that though it is not officially part of Route 7, Rutgers, from Washington Avenue to Main Street, is signed as if it is part of Route 7.[1][3]

Northern section

Route 7 eastbound through Nutley

The second section of Route 7, designated a north–south road, heads north on Washington Avenue from the Second River crossing on the Newark/Belleville border, passing through a business district.[5] The route intersects County Route 506 (Belleville Avenue), and that county route then forms a concurrency with Route 7 along the next block of Washington Avenue, to the intersection with Rutgers Street. At that point, County Route 506 heads to the east, ending at the intersection of Main Street, Rutgers Street, and bridge to Belleville (which is also the other section of Route 7).[1]

Signage for Route 7 on Route 3 in Clifton

Route 7 is not signed on Washington Avenue between the Second River bridge and Rutgers Street, except on some overhead signs suspended from traffic signals.[5]

From the Rutgers Street intersection, Route 7 continues along Washington Avenue for about a mile and a half before reaching Nutley, still continuing on Washington Avenue into Nutley.[1] The road crosses Norfolk Southern's Newark Industrial Track line at an intersection with County Route 648 (Centre Street). At the intersection with County Route 646 (Park Avenue), Route 7 turns into a municipally maintained road and enters a more residential area.[1][5] Upon intersecting County Route 606 (Kingsland Road), Route 7 crosses into Clifton, Passaic County and heads to the west on county-maintained Kingsland Street signed east–west.[1][5] Kingsland, carrying Route 7, crosses back into Nutley, regaining state maintenance. When Kingsland becomes County Route 644 at the intersection with Cathedral Avenue, Route 7 turns north from Kingsland onto Cathedral Avenue and comes to its terminus at Orange Street in Nutley. However, signage continues to indicate Route 7 up to the terminus of Cathedral Avenue at interchange with Route 3 at the intersection of Cathedral Avenue, Passaic Avenue, and Ward Avenue.[1] Per NJDOT traffic regulations, the portion of Cathedral Avenue and Passaic Avenue within the vicinity of the Route 3 interchange in Clifton is under state jurisdiction.[6]


Route 7 crosses the Hackensack River on the Wittpenn Bridge

The Belleville Turnpike, which is the majority of the southern portion of Route 7, was created in 1759 as a turnpike made out of cedar logs. This road was chartered in 1808.[7][8] It served as a part of the Underground Railroad route for escaped slaves to get to Jersey City.[9] The road west of modern County Route 508 was later incorporated into the William Penn Highway, which ran from Jersey City to Pittsburgh, PA.[10] The northern segment of Route 7 was originally a part of pre-1927 Route 11, which was legislated in 1917 to run from Newark to Paterson.[11] In the 1927 New Jersey state highway renumbering, Route 7 was designated to run from Jersey City to Paterson, replacing pre-1927 Route 11 between Belleville and Paterson.[12][13]

Route 11N

In 1929, the routing was amended to run from Route 25 (now U.S. Route 1/9 Truck) in Jersey City to Route 3 in Wallington.[14] Route 7 was extended north in 1949 to continue to Route 6 (now U.S. Route 46) in East Paterson (now Elmwood Park).[15] In the 1953 New Jersey state highway renumbering, Route 7 was legislated onto its current alignment, with the northern terminus moved to the Nutley/Clifton border.[16] The route was also realigned to head south on Washington Avenue between the Newark border and Rutgers Street in Belleville on what was Route 11N, a remnant of pre-1927 Route 11, making Route 7 discontinuous.[17] County Route 506 used to follow the southern portion of Route 7 but has been truncated to the intersection with Routes 7 and 21 in Belleville.[18]

Major intersections

HudsonJersey City0.000.00

US 1-9 north / US 1-9 Truck to Route 139 / Route 440 / Newark Avenue – Lincoln Tunnel, Secaucus, Hoboken, Holland Tunnel, Bayonne
Tonnele Circle interchange
Hackensack River0.420.68Wittpenn Bridge
CR 659 west (Fish House Road)

CR 508 west (Harrison Street) to I-280 / N.J. Turnpike – Harrison, Newark
county line
KearnyNorth Arlington line4.226.79
CR 507 south (Schuyler Avenue)
Southern end of CR 507 concurrency
Route 17 north (Ridge Road) – Rutherford, Suffern
Southern end of Route 17

CR 507 north (River Road) to Route 17 – Lyndhurst, Wallington, Garfield
Northern end of CR 507 concurrency
Passaic River5.328.56Belleville Turnpike Bridge
Route 21 / CR 506 west (Rutgers Street)
Interchange; Rutgers Street continues west
NewarkBelleville line6.059.74Broadway south
CR 506 west (Belleville Avenue) – Bloomfield
Southern end of CR 506 concurrency
CR 506 east (Rutgers Street) – Jersey City
Northern end of CR 506 concurrency
NutleyClifton line10.1616.35Kingsland Road
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 s "Route 7 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. ^ a b c d e f g Google (2009-04-01). "overview of New Jersey Route 7 southern section" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 2009-04-01.
  4. ^ Google (2008-11-14). "Belleville Turnpike and Schuyler Avenue, North Arlington, NJ" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 2008-11-14.
  5. ^ a b c d Google (2009-04-01). "overview of New Jersey Route 7 northern section" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 2009-04-01.
  6. ^ "Traffic Regulations - Orders of the Commissioner of Transportation; Passaic Avenue & Cathedral Avenue (vicinity of Route NJ 3)". New Jersey Department of Transportation. November 19, 2012. Retrieved September 5, 2019.
  7. ^ "Town of Kearny History". Town of Kearny. Archived from the original on May 4, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-11.
  8. ^ Murphy, John L. (1877). Index of Colonial and State Laws Between the Years 1663 and 1877 Inclusive. Stare of New Jersey. Retrieved 2008-11-11.
  9. ^ Wiggins, Genene P. (March 14, 1994). "Danger-filled path to freedom led slaves through Jersey City". Jersey Journal. Retrieved 2008-11-11.
  10. ^ Rand McNally and Co. "Eastern Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, South East Michigan, Southern Ontario, Western New York: District No. 4". Rand McNally Official Auto Trails Map, 3rd ed., 1924, pp. 168-169. David Rumsey Historical Map Collection, David Rumsey (curator), Cartography Associates, Accessed Nov 4, 2019,,-New-.
  11. ^ Annual Report. New Jersey State Highway Department. 1917.
  12. ^ State of New Jersey, Laws of 1927, Chapter 319.
  13. ^ 1927 New Jersey Road Map (Map). State of New Jersey. Archived from the original on 2016-03-13. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
  14. ^ State of New Jersey, Laws of 1929, Chapter 126.
  15. ^ State of New Jersey, Laws of 1949, Chapter 175.
  16. ^ "1953 renumbering". New Jersey Department of Highways. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. Retrieved July 31, 2009. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  17. ^ State of New Jersey, Laws of 1939, complied.
  18. ^ Hudson County Road Map – Sheet 2 (Map). Rutgers University Cartography Services. 1965. Retrieved 2008-11-12.

External links