Oct 18 2016

The Expansion of Union Turnpike and the Relocation of the Motor Parkway East of Winchester Boulevard

In 1928, New York State decided to widen Union Turnpike to make it a major east-west road in Queens. However, the planned expanded Union Turnpike just east of Winchester Boulevard was blocked by the Motor Parkway.

With the cooperation of the Motor Parkway, Inc. and nearby Creedmoor State Hospital, New York City agreed to move a section of the Motor Parkway further north of the original location. These surveys, images and aerials document the relocation of the Motor Parkway in the Creedmoor section of Queens.


Howard Kroplick

March 3,1932

This image shows the width of Union Turnpike prior to its expansion.

The Motor Parkway can be seen on the left. Due to the hospital buildings in the background, the expanded Union Turnpike needed to swing north towards the Motor Parkway.

Survey-July 12, 1928

This color-coded survey shows the planned exchange of land between New York State and the Motor Parkway, Inc. Courtesy of Al Velocci (my favorite co-author)

Survey-October 1928

Another map showing "Exchange of land between Lakeville Holding & Development Co. (the Motor Parkway) and the State of New York"

This agreement was detailed in the June 22, 1930 issue of The New York Times

Aerial- May 20, 1932

This aerial was used by New York State to show the path of Union Turnpike. The relocated section of the Motor Parkway was already built.

The new and old sections of the Motor Parkway and the two Motor Parkway bridges can be seen in this aerial.

Ground Images- March 3, 1932

The two Motor Parkway bridges over Winchester Boulevard. The new bridge can be seen in the background.

A view of the new and old section of the Motor Parkway as seen from the old Winchester Boulevard Motor Parkway Bridge.

Aerial- November 23, 1937

By 1937, the old Motor Parkway Bridge had been taken down. Reflecting the Depression, the expanded Union Turnpike still had not been completed.

Aerial- June 24, 1938

Seven months after the above aerial, there was little progress in the construction of Union Turnpike.

Current Views of Union Turnpike

Next time that you drive on Union Turnpike, you are driving for a very short time on the "Old" Motor Parkway. Created by Frank Femenias

Then: Union Turnpike- March 3, 1932

Now:Union Turnpike Note: the smokestacks in the background and the massive trees on the left.


Oct 19 2016 frank femenias 9:09 PM

WOW! Never seen these surveys before, and they’re loaded with info; bearings, lengths, radius’, and ROW widths. This is as accurate as possible. Thank you gentlemen for sharing these. Great stuff!

Oct 19 2016 frank femenias 9:13 PM

The LIMP Creedmoor highway bridge’s exact location is also included.

Oct 21 2016 Laura and Kenneth Harris 9:50 AM

Thanks for the most interesting presentation!  I was around in 1938 but I was a bit too young to be interested in the Motor Parkway.

Ken Harris

Oct 21 2016 frank femenias 9:24 PM

I believe LIMP remnants of the Creedmoor highway bridge still exists in this area. Eric Shaffer’s recent findings of concrete embedded in the grass lays where the bridge’s foundation should have been. This is the only remnant I know that still exists in the area besides the pedestrian underpass.

Oct 23 2016 S. Berliner, III 10:19 PM

It occurs to me, from this chronological vantage point, now, that they sure didn’t get much for their money, eh?  I seem to recall once seeing that concrete but it didn’t “click”.  Looking forward to someone getting in there and documenting what Eric/Frank found (PLEASE!).  Sam, III

Oct 24 2016 Robert A. Miller 2:44 PM

In the western embankment’s surface, on the side closest to Union Turnpike, there’s a curbing or masonry divider strip—this is most likely where the two roads diverged to cross Winchester Boulevard.

Jul 04 2017 Gene Perry 1:24 AM

I remember growing up in glen oaks villagein the 60’s, that there was a cement bridge support on the east side of Commonwealth Blvd that had a date of 1923. It was located where the queens children hospital driveway is now.At Little neck Parkway there was an underpass of the motor parkway remnant in the early 1960’s.I used to pass it when walking to the PS186 school.Great memories.

Jul 05 2017 Gene perry 12:17 PM

Now that I read the info anout the 2 Winchester Blvd. nridges, that explains why there are 3 aligned cement posts located in the woods south of the Motor parkway where the original row existed! Great web site!

Oct 20 2017 frank femenias 11:01 PM

Gene, fantastic find! Gonna check this out asap. That would be a most interesting to site to explore

Aug 10 2019 Art Kleiner 6:34 AM

Note the cost of rebuilding the Motor Parkway in the attached - anyone want to guess what today’s cost would be?  Answer in the next few days.

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Aug 11 2019 frank femenias 1:43 AM

$140,665.00 in 1932, I got $2,578,248.79. It seems it should have cost more, especially adding the new bridge and removing the old one

Aug 12 2019 Art Kleiner 7:50 PM

Close enough, Frank.  What’s a half million between friends!

Aug 19 2019 Art Kleiner 5:42 AM

Was the Motor Parkway/Union Turnpike shift part of an overall expansion of the roadways in Brooklyn and Queens.  The attached NY Times article of July, 1930 might indicate such.

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