Nov 23 2013

Long Island Motor Parkway Bridge Series #40: Jerusalem Avenue Bridge in the Hempstead Plains

The 40th bridge in the series documenting the 65 bridges built by the Long Island Motor Parkway is the Jerusalem Avenue Bridge in the Hempstead Plains (now Levittown). It is classified as a "highway" bridge since the Motor Parkway went  through the bridge under Jerusalem Avenue (often confused with Jerusalem Road which was further east).

One of the original 16 bridges built for the Vanderbilt Cup Races and later adjacent to the Long Island Aviation Country Club and the birth of Levittown, the Jerusalem Avenue Bridge was the most frequently photographed Motor Parkway bridge.



Howard Kroplick

The Jerusalem Avenue Bridge was the first bridge east of the Vanderbilt Cup Race grandstand.

A described in this August 1909 survey, the bridge was located at Station 110. Note the temporary road from Jerusalem Avenue leading to parking places surrounding the grandstand.

September 1908

The bridge can be seen in the background under construction. The embankments had not yet been built.

Looking east on the Motor Parkway, the officials' stand/press box and the grandstand had just been completed.

The bridge can be seen in the background, approximately 800 yards from the grandstand.

September 6, 1908

Veteran driver Joe Tracy made several test runs on the Motor Parkway in the Locomobile which finished 10th in the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race and would later win the 1908 race. Tracy gave the Motor Parkway a great review: "The cement highway makes an excellent racing road." This photo of Tracy was taken on the Jerusalem Avenue Bridge looking east.

Joe Tracy was paid $62.30 for his two days of tests

Motor Parkway Sweepstakes- October 10, 1908

The view looking east towards the Jerusalem Avenue Bridge on the opening day of the Motor Parkway. Note the band at the left corner.

A closeup reveals the bridge.

Eventual winner Herb Lytle driving his Isotta passed the bridge which served as a great location to view the race. Note the grandstand can be seen through the bridge.

1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race- October 24, 1908

Lytle returned two weeks later to compete inthe Vanderbilt Cup Race. The bridge was identified by the position of the spectators on the bridge.

Joe Seymour driving a Thomas. The officials' stand/press box can be seen through the bridge.

1909 Vanderbilt Cup Race - October 30, 1909

Another view from the bridge showing Edward Parker in a FIAT leading another racer. In 1909, a small grandstand was built, west of Jerusalem Avenue.

A view looking west towards the small grandstand and the bridge.

The Alco Black Beast driven by Harry Grant and Frank Lee  passing the bridge.

Grant's scarf was used to clean his goggles.

October 1,1910- 1910 Vanderbilt Cup Race

Another view looking towards the bridge taken from the officials stand/press box.

One of my favorite photos from my Vanderbilt Cup Race book was taken from the bridge. One spectator did not get much sleep prior to the race. The small grandstand was not built for the 1910 race.


The location of the bridge as it appears in the 1928 Motor Parkway Atlas.

This aerial was taken 18 years after the last Vanderbilt Cup Race was held on Long Island in 1910.

Remnats of the pits and the temporary road  to the grandstand can still be seen.


The 40-acre Long Island Aviation Country Club was west of Jerusalem Avenue and north of the Motor Parkway.

The bridge can be seen behind the hangar.

May 27, 1947

The bridge was still standing when Levitt & Sons began building the homes of Levittown. Watch this area change over the next two and half years.

November 13, 1947

This is the result of only 6 months of building the Levitt homes.

The bridge was still standing!

December 24, 1949

The aerial view...six weeks later.

The bridge appears to have been taken down.


Check out  Wayne Consolla's online Motor Parkway map to find the location of the Jerusalem Avenue Bridge.


Nov 25 2013 frank femenias 10:54 AM

Nice pics of the Levittown Plains Howard. Opening day at the grandstand was interesting. This stretch of roadway appeared well fenced off and barbwired as well!

Nov 27 2013 Tom 10:50 PM

Great pics as always.

Nov 29 2013 Brian D McCarthy 11:25 AM

I hope everyone had a nice thanksgiving. I always look forward to your bridge series Howard, thanks. The aviation club was dismantled around the time period of the building of Levittown as well.

Leave a Comment