Nov 12 2019

Kleiner’s Kolumn: Revisiting the Transformation of the Motor Parkway into Salisbury Park Drive

Several comments to last month's Mystery Foto #43 (identification of the Motor Parkway west of Newbridge Road in Levittown) pertained to Salisbury Park Drive.  Additional documents provided by the Nassau County Department of Public Works (NCDPW) uncover improvements to the Motor Parkway in this location and its incorporation into the county highway system.  Sections were improved and incorporated at different times during the late 1940s and into the 1950s.   All plans and surveys courtesy of NCDPW.

Art Kleiner

1939: Initial Plans

As indicated on this 1939 map, the county planned to purchase this section back from LILCO.

Circa 1940s

Salisbury Park Drive, looking east towards Carman Avenue. Courtesy of Al Velocci.


The same view as seen in 2013. One of the Eisenhower Park's golf courses can be seen on the right.

1947: Improvement Notice

Planning to improve the Motor Parkway was noted in this 1947 Newsday article; the Stewart, Carmen and Newbridge Motor Parkway bridges were to be removed as well as improvements to the road itself.

1948: Improvements being Planned

Formal plans were produced in 1948 for the section between Newbridge Avenue (also called Westbury-Bellmore Road) and Carmen Avenue. (courtesy of NCDPW)

Removal of the Newbridge Road Motor Parkway Bridge also in 1948 as it was deemed "an obstruction to transportation progress".  Also noted that some Motor Parkway property was swapped with Levitt  Homes which was indicated on other county plans.  (Nassau Daily Star Review)

1950: Acquisition

Acquisition of Motor Parkway property by Nassau County between the Wantagh State Parkway and Newbridge Road. 

Additional Emphasis

Accidents such as this caused additional need for improvements to be made.  (Newsday, 1954)

1955 Detailed Plans

Plans for the improvement of the section between Carmen Avenue and Newbridge Road were formalized in 1955. 

.86 miles were to be incorporated into the county road system and maintained by the county. 

Grace Lane

As shown in the mystery photo, Grace Lane ran into the Motor Parkway just west of Newbridge Road.  A group of maples were noted as being against the abutment wall, so while the bridge may have been removed earlier, the abutments were not.  

Wantagh State Parkway Bridge

Guard rails, fences and posts were planned near the bridge over the Wantagh State Parkway.

The bridge as it looks today!

A center traffic island was planned - interestingly I drive on Salisbury Park Drive probably every day and needed to go back and check to see if the island is still there - and yes it is as shown above.

Fencing and Posts

Some of these posts still remain!

Still standing today, guess the preservative worked! (Courtesy Sam and Dave)

And how Salisbury Park Drive got its Name

And to answer the question of how and when did Salisbury Park Drive get its name, this March 10, 1960 Newsday article gives a clue. 


Nov 13 2019 Michael Cain 1:44 PM

I’m sure this research was fun for you Art since you live within walking distance.
I remember the maple trees that remained near the Newbridge Road Bridge abutment. When I was a kid most of the wooden fence rails were still intact during the mid 1960’s. Thanks for the great documents. We now know the Salisbury Park Drive was paved during the late 1950’s.

Nov 13 2019 Al Prete 9:43 PM

Today Gasser Avenue, which forms one side of a triangle between Carman Avenue and Salisbury Park Drive, is known as Bob Reed Lane.

Nov 14 2019 frank femenias 12:16 PM

Thanks Al Prete. You saved me the research!

Nov 14 2019 Art Kleiner 12:52 PM

Mike - yes, always fun to be near what I am researching.  Brings it a bit closer to home.  Very interesting what was there before - makes you wonder what changes will take place over the next 100 years or so.

Al - thanks.  Bob Reed according to some searches on google was a firefighter with the East Meadow Fire Department who the day after fighting a lumber yard fire died of a heart attack.  As you know there is a fire house on that triangle: very appropriate as a memorial.

Nov 14 2019 Brian D McCarthy 3:06 PM

Interesting info Art, thank you. ‘Station’ is used in the plans here, and I thought it was strictly a LIMP construction term. Defined as a unit of measurement between points in surveying.

Nov 14 2019 Art Kleiner 8:11 PM

Thanks Brian - makes sense since so much of what I’m looking at (and the surveys in Howard’s possession) use the term “station”.  This info. will help identify some locations and structures I’ve had a hard time determining.

Nov 17 2019 Robert Allen 7:49 AM

Seeing the locust posts still standing reminds me of what my father, born in 1915, says they used to tell him: the problem with locust posts is you can’t tell when they’re worn out.  So what you want to do is put a brick on top of the post; that way you know when the brick wears out the post must be worn out.
He also said his uncles told him how in the late 1800’s, they got a gig supplying black locust turning blanks to the NY City Police Department.  But the PD stopped buying them because they were cracking too many heads.

Nov 17 2019 S. Berliner, III 12:20 PM

These threads seem to be coming thick and fast!  Love it!  Here I go again - see my LIMP Page 3 <> for some 24 Sep 1999 pix of this area.  Art K., you’re doing a fab. job; thanks muchly.  Sam, III

Nov 17 2019 Dave Russo 9:40 PM

Here’s why I’m a tad doubtful these wood posts are original LIMP: the attached pics are from the Stewart Ave bridge over the Wantagh Parkway, just north of Salisbury Park Dr / LIMP bridge. These posts aren’t exactly the same, but quite similar. What do you guys think?

image image image
Nov 18 2019 Art Kleiner 7:40 AM

Dave, I would say the posts were all installed when the Wantagh Parkway was built.
As to why one section had one slit vs. two maybe the elevation of the ground near Stewart vs. Salisbury Pk. Drive had something to do with it.  More research to undertake.

Nov 18 2019 frank femenias 8:32 AM

Dave - Agreed, these posts are in the same condition/age as Salisbury Dr. Likely also Robert Moses stuff.

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