Business Media Production Services
Sica Productions
23 Walnut Avenue
Clark, NJ 07066
Click Here to see a press release about the project.
Tel: 732-382-0618
Email: davesica@juno.com

 
Click Here to see some still photos from the movie in production.

The Woodbridge Cloverleaf: On-ramps to Innovation

What is the project about?

Sica Productions has produced a documentary film on the Woodbridge Cloverleaf, a historic structure under the jurisdiction of the New Jersey State Department of Transportation

Why is it important?

The Cloverleaf, built in 1928, was the very first traffic interchange of its type built in the United States. As such, it has been accorded historic status. Historic artifacts, by law, must be preserved whenever possible. When not possible (such as is the case with a "structurally deficient and functionally obsolete" bridge at the intersection of two heavily travelled highways, it must be documented before it is destroyed.

The Cloverleaf was a remarkable innovation in its time, a real "aha!" moment if you will. It became the model on which efficient traffic interchange design throughout the country was based. As anyone who has driven the road anytime within the past decade or more knows, the design doesn't work nearly as well handling the traffic volumes of today as it did when it was praised for its performance in the early part of the last century.

The Woodbridge Cloverleaf has been replaced with a new interchange. The purpose of this program is to document the existing interchange: the first Cloverleaf.

How did we do it?

Documenting a historic road can consist simply of gathering published archival information, taking a few photographs and compiling a printed report. In fact, that was done as part of this project. "The Woodbridge Cloverleaf: The Circumstances Leading to its Design and its Importance in the Context of the Modern Highway" is a 59 page document researched by Kise Straw & Kolodner and published by Hunter Research, the company managing the overall project. Video documentation can consist of an engineer walking down the side of the road, making a "home movie" quality documentation of the construction as it presently exists.

In this case, because of the importance of this particular artifact, NJDOT decided that documenting it should be done in a manner commensurate with the significant role the Woodbridge Cloverleaf has played in the history of transportation in our country. In our proposal to DOT, we envisioned documenting the past (through archival photographs and film footage), the present (through contemporary video footage), but also documenting the experience of what it was like when this was such a revolutionary achievement, something today's driver might find hard to imagine.

Our proposal included the use of interviews with drivers familiar with the Cloverleaf back in the times when it functioned according to design, and with people who travelled the route through Woodbridge as population density and traffic volume grew over the years.

Finally, we proposed to re-create "The Cloverleaf Experience" from the point of view of those driving the interchange at different points in its history. Through the use of 3-D animation, the viewer of our program will actually get a feel for how it was like to drive at speeds and traffic levels of bygone eras.

To achieve this, we created a 100% accurate 3-D model from the actual blueprints used to construct the Cloverleaf in 1928. Our model is exactly to scale and viewable from any angle. It allows us to walk, drive or fly past the interchange viewing it from various perspectives. One pleasant side benefit of having this model is the ability to see the Cloverleaf as it was originally designed and constructed. Significant alterations over the years, and the loss of architectural details mean that few if any people living today have ever seen this historic artifact as it's designers intended. Our program provides the first clear look at the original design in many decades.

It's a privilige and an honor to be a part of the effort to preserve this important element of New Jersey (and U.S.) transportation history.