Feb 12 2020

Kleiner’s Kolumn: Documentation of the Long Island Motor Parkway Bridges in Nassau County (#28-#42)

Part II of the Nassau County Motor Parkway bridges takes us from the Westbury Avenue Bridge to the Wantagh Avenue Bridge.

Art Kleiner


Feb 12 2020 Bill 11:51 PM

Photo #33 that’s the R34 coming in!  Important photo.

Feb 16 2020 Howard Kroplick 12:19 PM

From Art:
Bill - thanks, here’s a Brooklyn Daily Eagle ad from July 3, 1919 promoting the arrival of the R34!

Feb 16 2020 S. Berliner, III 4:38 PM

Re #29, as I noted in some earlier blog, Ron’s full pix of demolition of this Main Line bridge and the Oyster Bay Branch bridge are at: <http://sbiii.com/limpbrdg.html#rrbridgs>.  Re #38, the old 2013 blog notes “telegraph poles” for what were actually that early PRR/LIRR electrification project just documented.  Sam, III

Feb 27 2020 Wayne Woodbury 10:50 AM

The wealth of information on this site is staggering. I only recently discovered it. Thank you. There is an aerial photo on this site that clearly shows the Motor Parkway crossing the then new Wantagh State Pkwy (1938) on a bridge. This bridge is not included in any ground photographs and is not mentioned in any texts. Yes, it would have been built decades after the original Motor Parkway bridges presumably by Robert Moses as he brought the Wantagh Parkway through the area to link up with the Northern State. Interesting since the Motor Parkway was on it’s last legs at this time.
Wayne, welcome to the website! Yes, Robert Moses built the Motor Parkway Bridge over the Wantagh State Parkway just when the Parkway was closing. He was not a happy camper!

Feb 27 2020 Wayne Woodbury 4:53 PM

Thanks for the reply. My main interest has been with the Central Railroad of Long Island (Stewart Line) that ran through the area. Several publications have stated incorrectly that when Levittown was built (1948-1951) the railroad delivered building supplies to an area east of the parkway near Newbridge Road. Some said a RR bridge was built over the parkway and some even say that there was a crossing at grade and the parkway was flagged when a freight movement was necessary. Can you imagine trying to flag traffic to a stop on the parkway? The railroad did rebuild a couple of miles of track east from Merrick Ave to a spot just behind NUMC where the jail now stands. An excellent LIRR wesite arrts-arrchives.com confirmed this with maps and photos. The photos show the most basic temporary track laying. No way the RR was going to foot the bill for a parkway bridge to take the track further east for a few years. God knows Robert Moses wasn’t going to do it.

Feb 28 2020 Al Velocci 4:27 PM

Wayne Woodbury, Can you tell me when the Central Railroad tracks were taken up thru Eisenhower Park ?

Feb 29 2020 Wayne Woodbury 9:21 AM

While I have seen no specific dates but you can draw conclusions from related events that are documented.
Salisbury Park became a county park in 1949. Nassau took over the Salisbury Golf Club property for non payment of taxes. 1949 maps of the new county park show the LIRR ROW going through the park. The original tracks through that area were probably torn up for the war effort in the early 1940’s. The tracks would have then ended at the Salisbury Plains station just west of Merrick Road. Passenger service to Salisbury Plains (via a shuttle from Garden City) ended in the mid 1940’s. In 1948, the railroad relayed track eastward, through the park, to an area behind the now NUMC to deliver building supplies for Levittown. Those deliveries lasted as late as April of 1951. Photos from 1952 show the delivery sidings still in place but obviously not in use judging by their condition. Another photo shows the June 1956 delivery of steam engine 35 for static display at the park. The track is still across Merrick Ave but appears to end right at the park side of the road. So, I would say that the final track was removed from Salisbury Park sometime between 1952 and 1956,  probably closer to the 1952 time frame.

Feb 29 2020 S. Berliner, III 7:30 PM

Wayne, I have a vague recollection that #35 was pushed in from Merrick Avenue on a temporary shoo-fly track, NOT on CRR track.  It came by Gerosa lo-boy flat-bed truck in June 1956 as you note - the photo is at <https://www.arrts-arrchives.com/CEXT7.html>.  Sam, III

Mar 01 2020 Wayne Woodbury 9:07 AM

Sam, I would agree that at some point #35 had to leave the rails. I used that same picture that you referenced. #35 was placed for exhibit (I climbed it many times as a child) about a hundred yards south of the RR ROW in the picnic area next to the old clubhouse. I have no idea how it got to that place or from where via the lo-boy. One thing did just occur to me. If the picture is indeed 1956 then the Meadowbrook Parkway would already have bisected the RR so it did not come from the adjacent tracks.

Mar 01 2020 Wayne Woodbury 11:26 AM

I looked at a Google map and #35 was actually placed about 1400 ft south of the RR ROW. The old ROW runs just north of the lake. I have vivid memories of the engine in the open field just south of the old clubhouse or Lannin House directly adjacent to Merrick Ave. You may have a point about using a shoo-fly track to get the engine and tender directly in from Merrick Ave. It would have been precarious for those trucks and cranes to try to drive over and set up on a grassy field.

Mar 02 2020 S. Berliner, III 12:00 AM

Wayne, you’re correct.  Another locator was that the engine was very close to the old puppet theater (~100 yards NE?).  The tracks were still in place with rails in the pavement on Merrick in that 1956 Art Huneke photo linked above and the leading Gerosa tractor is sitting across them, facing south (note the old station building visible to the NW, at left past the truck’s radiator).  Sam, III

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