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Interstate 78

Overpass: Interstate 78

Looking towards Summit. Photo taken by Jeff Jargosch.

The I-78 overpass in Springfield. Here the Rahway Valley's horseshoe curve began, to ascend the Watchung Mountains. Photo taken by Peter Thornton, courtesy of Don Maxton.


The Rahway Valley Railroad passed underneath Interstate 78 (MP 5.07 - MP 5.12) in Springfield, NJ. The highway itself was constructed through the 1970's and this portion of the roadway did not open for traffic until 1986. As the railroad had the right-of-way the highway was obligated to bridge the railroad and leave it untouched. No portion of the RV was moved in this area as a result of 78's construction nor was the Baltusrol Station destroyed as a result of 78's construction, the station itself had burned.

Elsewhere, however, on the Rahway Valley Line the line was abandoned between Hollywood Memorial Park in Union and the end of track in Maplewood. The railroad could have forced the construction of a bridge over the highway in that section but the lack of business being done on that portion of track would not warrant such an expense.

The construction of 78 in Springfield did however disrupt Rahway Valley train movements as heavy construction equipment moved back and forth across the railroad.

This 1906 map shows the original roadway alignments that existed all the way up until the construction of Interstate 78. Briant Ave. and Baltusrol Way were both later realigned.
This map, from 1967, shows the realignments of Baltusrol Way and Briant Ave. (which has changed to Bryant Ave.). Briant Ave., Baltusrol Way, and the railroad all pass under the proposed I-78 (the dashed line) with a single overpass. The portion labelled "W. Bryant Ave." was later renamed Stone Hill Road.

This five aerial views show the changing landscape around the Baltusrol Station as a result of the construction of I-78.

The 1954 aerial view shows the Baltusrol Station and the property of Andrew Wilson, a firm that produced insecticides.

The 1966 aerial view shows many changes in twelve years. Property has been acquired for I-78 and the area is being cleared of brush and buildings being moved out of the way. Baltusrol Way and Briant Ave. have been realigned but the original alignments are still in place. The Baltusrol Station is still extant, there also seem to be some structure across from the station in both the 1954 and 1966 aerial views. In a 1919 customer list there is menioned a "Springfield Coal Pockets" here, perhaps this structure is somehow related to that.

The 1970 aerial view shows that Briant Ave and Baltusrol Way have both been realigned and homes have been constructed on either side of where the Baltusrol Station sat, which has been razed after being burned by fire. A swath of land is all cleared for the coming highway but only a single service road has been constructed at this point.

The 1979 aerial view shows that the overpass, crossing Briant Ave., the railroad, and Baltusrol Way, has been constructed but I-78 is far from being completed.

The 1987 aerial view shows the highway has been opened, just a year prior in 1986.

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