Paterson Plank Road

Teterboro, United States

Paterson Plank Road

Paterson Plank Road is a road that runs through Passaic, Bergen and Hudson Counties in northeastern New Jersey. The route, originally laid in the colonial era, connects the city of Paterson and the Hudson River waterfront. It has largely been superseded by Route 3, but in the many towns it passes it has remained an important local thoroughfare, and in some cases been renamed.

Portions of the road were at times called New Barbadoes Turnpike, from New Barbadoes Neck, the name of the peninsula between the rivers it crossed, the Hackensack and the Passaic. Many plank roads in the United States were developed in the nineteenth century. These roads consisted of wooden boards laid adjacently to prevent coach and wagon wheels from getting bogged down in soft or swampy ground, thereby creating an even surface that would facilitate travel. Normally a toll was charged. This technology was applied to the Paterson Plank Road and similar roads, the Hackensack Plank Road and the Newark Plank Road, which also traversed the Hackensack Meadows to the cities for which they are named. The Bergen Point Plank Road travelled from Paulus Hook to the Kill Van Kull. The company which built the Paterson and New York Plank Road, as it was called, received its charter on March 14, 1851. Over time it was upgraded and at one point had streetcar lines on its entire length operated by the Public Service Railway as the 15 Passaic, 17 Hudson, and 35 Secaucus.

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