Aug 09 2012

Long Island Motor Parkway Bridge Series:#21 Willis Avenue Motor Parkway Bridge in Williston Park

Our 21st bridge in the series documenting the 60 Long Island Motor Parkway bridges is the "parkway bridge" over Willis Avenue in Williston Park. Thanks to Bob and Ruth Valentine for providing the only known existing photo of the bridge.


Howard Kroplick

1909 Surveys

The Motor Parkway needed to acquire significant property in the area around Willis Avenue.

West of Willis Avenue, a total of 16.083 acres were purchased from Theodore Brown.

East of Willis Avenue to the Oyster Bay Long Isaland Rail Road tracks, , a total 13.631 acres were purchased from Wheatley Hills Land Company.

1926 Aerial

Submitted by Frank Femenias

1928 Motor Parkway Atlas

The bridge was a "parkway bridge" since the Motor Parkway went over the crossroad (Willis Avenue).

1950 Aerial

By 1950, the bridge had been taken down but the Motor Parkway right-of-way can clearly be seen.

1980s Photos From Ron Ridolph

This is the view looking east with Willis Avenue located behind the gates. Note the bridge's west embankment on the right.

East of Willis Avenue, a strip of the Motor Parkway leading to the Williston Park Village Pool.

The three-foot concrete extensions of both sides of the Motor Parkway.

2003 Motor Parkway Historical Marker Dedication Ceremony

On May 18, 2003, the Village of Williston Park honored the Motor Parkway with the placement of a historical marker on the east side of Willis Avenue. Bob Valentine (left) and Sam Berliner III (right) participated in the ceremonies.

Bob Valentine addressing the dedication crowd.

Ruth Valentine's Motor Parkway E-Z pass.

Classic and vintage cars returned to the Motor Parkway.

Then: 1930s

A 1930s view of the bridge looking north. Courtesy of Bob and Ruth Valentine.

Now: 2012

The same view as seen today.

The historical marker with the Motor Parkway to the right.

Ironically, the Albertson Highway Yard sign is directly on the Motor Parkway right-of-way. Likely never noticed by drivers and pedestrians, the bridge's west embankment can be seen behind the sign.

The rising Motor Parkway bridge embankment on the right.

The entrance to the Village Pool via the Motor Parkway!

2012 Bing Map

The Bing "Bird's Eye" map still refers to the road as Motor Parkway. Cool!!! Also note the Albertson Highway Yard and the adjacent storm basin are located on the Motor Parkway property purchased from Theodore Brown.


Aug 10 2012 Kenneth J. Harris 1:40 PM

I really enjoy this series.  Thanks to you and everyone who contributes to it!


Aug 12 2012 James 10:28 AM

Gram and I visited the spot yesterday. Found the remnants of some broken posts deep into the side of the embankment. Mosquitos found us before we could explore more. Gram was thrilled to be able to drive along the small stretch of the Motor Parkway that survives now as an access road to the pool. We also saw your newly acquired Vanderbilt limo being worked on at the service station on Jericho. Gram noted that its current paint situation gives it sort of a “rat rod” look!

Aug 12 2012 Roger A. Price 2:52 PM


That’s an incredible amount of research.  Thanks.


Aug 18 2012 Desmond McGlynn 2:19 AM

It is fun to see many of these photos. I like ot go om, to find them, but it is sometimes difficult. Native Long Islanders know the locations, of course, but it is difficult for those out of state. There are pics like the “Village Pool via Motor Parkway, and Albertson Motor Pool, that are hard to pin down. It wouldbe nice if one could draw up a schematic, or something to help find them. (I could only find Hempstead on, not North Heampstead.) Still many of the presentations are enjoyable, instructive and nostalgic.

Aug 18 2012 Howard Kroplick 12:35 PM

Hi Desmond,

Thanks for the excellent suggestion. I have added a link to the Bing map.

Sep 27 2012 Jack Binder 4:09 PM

Howard- Do you have other confirmation, other than mine, of Maple Cottage being the site of the Locomobile garage?

Sep 28 2012 Howard Kroplick 10:37 PM

Jack, the 1906 “Automobile” article provided additional documentation for your letter.

Jun 05 2018 Brian D McCarthy 8:01 PM

After reading about the history of The NY and North Shore Traction Company, I realized the trolley line rails used to be on Mineola and Willis Ave; and the trolleys ran below this overpass until 1920. Guess there was a designated lane for the trolley line. Traction line is also noted on the 1928 Motor Pkwy Atlas here, Howard.

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