Feb 20 2017

Mystery Foto #7 Solved: Motor Parkway Bridge Posts Near Wantagh State Parkway

Sammy & Dave Russo challenged Motor Parkway enthusiasts to identify this section of our favorite road.

Mystery Foto questions:

  • Where did Sammy and Dave take these photos?

On the south side of Salisbury Park Drive (formerly the Long Island Motor Parkway), east of Wantagh State Parkway in East Meadow.

  • What was the reason for the unusual shape of these posts?

These were used as wooden guardrails installed on the Wantagh State Parkway bridges.

  • What was the likely year that these posts were installed and by whom?

Probably installed by New York State in 1938 when the Wantagh State Parkway in this section opened and the Motor Parkway had already had closed. As noted by Chris Lindsley, these wooden posts may not be the originals installed in 1938.

Comments (14)

Congrats to Art Kleiner (see Kleiner's Korner), Frank Femenias (see Femenias' Findings), Steve Lucas, Chris Lindsley, Joe Oesterle,  and Frank Mendyk for identifying the Salisbury Park Drive/Wantagh State Parkway location. Kudos to Art Kleiner and Frank Femenias for forwarding additional documentation.


Howard Kroplick

Another View in the Area


Location of the Motor Parkway bridge over Wantagh State Parkway as seen on May 27, 1947.

Kleiner's Korner (Submitted by Art Kleiner)

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle December 17, 1938

Dolph and Stewart map-1939

Location of bridges over Motor Parkway and Stewart Avenue.

Stewart Avenue bridge location- February 17, 2017

Salisbury Park Drive location-February 17, 2017

Femenias' Findings (Submitted by Frank Femenias)

The descent behind the posts is also an entrance to the original Jones Beach bike/pedestrian path extension built in 1929.


Feb 18 2017 Art Kleiner 2:34 PM

Where did Sammy and Dave take these photos?  Practically in my backyard in Levittown! Salisbury Park Drive to be exact near the overpass for the Wantagh State Parkway.  Similar posts are also by the overpass on Stewart Avenue (shown in my 1939 map being sent to Howard as Hempstead Avenue).  I’ve driven by the posts for the last almost 34 years, sometimes multiple times a day. 

What was the reason for the unusual shape of these posts?  To hold wooden log type slats? 

What was the likely year that these posts were installed and by whom?
1937/1938 as part of the $4.4 million Northern State/Wantagh State Parkway extension being built by Moses, Robert that is!

Feb 19 2017 Phil Benincasa SR. 11:39 AM

Posts are part of a fence, similar to the ones that bordered the Bronx River Pkwy, in
the Bronx,NY,NY. I believe the first ever Parkway.

Feb 19 2017 LMK 12:00 PM

I don’t know the answer but what a discovery….

Feb 19 2017 Chris Battestin 12:25 PM

That looks like Bethpage park to me.

Feb 19 2017 Manfred Kothe 1:52 PM

They look like the posts that were used along all the Long Island Parkways to hold the guard Rail. I think they may have installed around 1930-40.

Feb 19 2017 Rich 4:06 PM

Not sure where this was taken but I think it’s part of the bike path in Queens. The slots were for wooden fence rails. I can remember similar posts and rails along some of LI parkways. But I think the posts were concrete and the rails were wood along with wooden light posts. Love the Tucker!

Feb 19 2017 S. Berliner, III 6:56 PM

Off hand, without checking, it looks to me like the Bethpage State Parkway crossing looking east from the south-east corner of the bridge, with Moses posts for heavy-duty split rails ca. 1934-36 (probably the latter).  Sure hope I’m closer than last time!  Sam, III

Feb 19 2017 frank femenias 8:57 PM

Salisbury/Levittown on Salisbury Park Drive looking east, just east of the WSP overpass. I think these were guardrail posts at some point, to prevent strayed cars from rolling down the hill on the right side of photo (difficult to see) by the electrical sub station. Most likely installed in 1938 by NYS during WSP construction in this area.

Feb 19 2017 Steve Lucas 9:01 PM

I think the photo was taken on the south side of Salisbury Park Drive, looking east, in the vicinity of the bridge over Wantagh Parkway. The posts were probably installed during construction of the Wantagh Parkway in 1937-1938 when Robert Moses had the bridge built to allow his parkway to pass under the LIMP. Thanks to Art Kleiner for hints and consultation.

Feb 20 2017 chris lindsley 11:44 AM

where they are is easy. Salisbury Pkwy in Westbury/Levittown.
Right before/after the WSP
From my understanding these are NOT original LIMP posts. There were original posts on this road as late as the 1990s. I saw them myself whilst exploring. So I would date these posts from he 1950s. I may actually have pics of the origial posts somewhere in my photo collection, or on the home movies I recorded from 1999 to 2002…I am gonna have to resurrect my VCR to look

Feb 20 2017 Dick Gorman 3:49 PM

Mystery Foto #7….My usually fruitful research has born no fruit. So I’m guessing when I say that the Sammy and Dave photo was taken at Bethpage State Park. Perhaps the unusual shape was to match the fence/guard rail posts used elsewhere in the park.The posts may have been installed in 1934 at the order of Robert Moses, father of our state parks and parkways.

Feb 20 2017 Joe Oesterle 6:24 PM

Ok.  I found this challenging.  But I am going to say this is along Salisbury Park Dr, just east where the Wantagh Pkwy crossed the LIMP.  I suspect these posts were made by NY State when they built their bridge to accommodate the LIMP.

Feb 20 2017 Frank mendyk 7:31 PM

The location is on Salisbury drive just east of the Wantagh Parkway overpass on the south side of the roadway. The post was of a post and rail construction made of wood. This was used by the NYS Parkway system at the time. The time of the placement was between 1932 and 1938 during the construction of that section of the Wantagh Parkway. As a further note you can observe what I believe to be small sections of old concrete of the OMP on the north side of Salisbury drive just north of the sidewalk

Feb 20 2017 Frank Nemzer 7:41 PM

Congratulations on the addition of this beautiful Tucker, and on your Best in Class at Boca. It was great seeing you and the Mustang III last week and will miss you at Amelia.  And thanks for that peak into your garage.  Where is the Chrysler?  Did someone shrink it down to scale?

Feb 21 2017 Art Kleiner 8:15 AM

Howard - correction on the 1947 photo - bridge is over the WSP, not Northern State. 
Steve - no problem - you owe me one. 

Howard Kroplick

Art, good catch!

Feb 21 2017 frank femenias 9:17 AM

Frank Mendyk - Did you mean the concrete at the Mobil station (corner of Newbridge Rd)? That paved path is interesting because although it’s on gas station property, it serves no purpose for the station at all.

Feb 21 2017 Dave Russo 8:09 PM

I got a big kick out of the newspaper article that Art attached. Are you telling me that the Wantagh Parkway 10 mile section only cost $4400 to build? How is that possible? And they finished three months ahead of schedule? I wonder if that has happened since 1938??!!

Any thoughts as to why the Salisbury Park Drive posts have two slots and the Stewart Ave bridge posts only have one? That’s why I was originally hopeful that the posts on Salisbury Park Dr were original wood LIMP posts. Is that possible????

So these little wood posts and connector pieces were the only thing preventing cars / pedestrians from falling off the bridge? Wow.

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