New Jersey Roads - NJ 53

NJ 53

NJ 53 is a short connector from US 202 into the heart of Denville. It makes it pretty close to the train station, but only has partial interchanges with I-80 and US 46 along the way. That's because NJ 53 is much older than any elevated highway in New Jersey. In fact, it predates almost every road in New Jersey, and I'll demonstrate a bit of how old it is as this page continues. Nowadays, besides ending at a multiplex that hasn't existed for over 80 years (NJSHR 5/12, back in the day), all NJ 53 is notable for is being the northern extension of state-maintained US 202. North of 53, 202 is and always has been a patchwork of Morris County and Passaic County highways, and then is even cosigned with Bergen CR 91 (you can see that by clicking on the links in this paragraph).

This is stamped into the western abutment of the NJ 10 overpass. NJSHR 5N's number dates from the First Renumbering in 1927, when there were at least three N routes (5N, 6N, and 8N). 5N survived the longest of the three, all the way up until 1953 when it was numbered 53. The special thing about the N routes is that they were leftovers from the original numbering scheme in New Jersey. NJSHR 5 left Newark on present-day NJ 124, following that to Morristown, where it turned north on US 202 to NJ 53, and then turned onto US 46, which then wasn't even NJSHR 6, but the original NJSHR 12. That's where the 5/12 multiplex that I mentioned in the first paragraph came from, and 5 stayed with 12 all the way to present-day NJ 182, then following NJ 57 to Phillipsburg. After the First Renumbering, NJSHR 5 was where NJ 5 still is to the present day, so there was quite a haul between the ersatz sister routes.

The northbound (eastern) side of the NJ 10 overpass, revealing the date of construction. It's about due for replacement, especially since 10 needs to be three lanes in each direction here.

Northbound state-name shields. To get to I-80 West, one must go through the center of Denville, following NJSHR 5 back into upgraded US 46.

Slightly newer than the NJ 10 bridge, the US 46 overpass has green tile letters instead of the incuse font seen further south. These are on the NB side.

Same thing, SB side.

Just to the south of US 46, NJ 53 crosses a brook with another 1941 SHR 5N bridge.

This is all you get on the NB side. Until it crumbles into the water, when you get nothing at all.

To NJ 10
Onto I-80
To US 46
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