This 2001 photo shows the northbound Central Westchester Parkway at the Orchard Street overpass in White Plains. (Photo by Mike Tantillo.)

A PARKWAY SPUR WITH HIGHER ASPIRATIONS: In 1929, the Westchester County Parks Commission recommended construction of three east-west, limited-access parkways to connect the Saw Mill, Bronx River and Hutchinson River parkways. The Cross County Parkway was to cross through the southern part of the county, the Central Westchester Parkway through the middle of the county, and the Bear Mountain State Parkway through the northern part of the county.

That same year, the Regional Plan Association recommended an "outer circumferential route" serving the New York metropolitan area. In Westchester County, this route was to follow the Central Westchester Parkway - the current I-287 corridor - from the proposed Pelham-Port Chester Parkway (the current I-95 corridor) in Port Chester west to the Saw Mill River Parkway in Elmsford.

Work soon began on a two-mile section from NY 22 (North Broadway) in North White Plains south to NY 119 (Westchester Avenue) in White Plains. This section was constructed on a right-of-way for the New York, Westchester and Bronx railroad that was graded earlier in the 1920's, but was never utilized. The two-long-mile Central Westchester Parkway opened to traffic in 1932, and was the only section of this parkway to be completed. (This two-mile-long section was truncated to one mile upon construction of the Cross Westchester Expressway during the late 1950's.)

The onset of the Great Depression, and later World War II delayed completion of the Central Westchester Parkway. In 1950, state and local officials revived the parkway proposal as the Cross Westchester Expressway, an east-west "thruway" that would be open to both cars and commercial traffic. Parts of the original Central Westchester Parkway right-of-way - including the existing southernmost mile of the parkway and unbuilt sections - were utilized for the expressway.

Today, the truncated Central Westchester Parkway, which is maintained by the Westchester County Department of Public Works (and therefore does not carry an NYSDOT reference route designation), links EXIT 7 of the Cross Westchester Expressway (I-287) with NY 22 one mile to the north. A parkway exit is provided for Orchard Street in White Plains. Finally, in conjunction with NY 22, the parkway spur provides a connection to the Taconic State Parkway.

SOURCES: Reports of the Westchester County Parks Commission (1926-1935), Westchester County Parks Commission (1935); "Let's Be Realistic About Thruways" by Hugh R. Pomeroy, Westchester County Planning Department (2/21/1950); "Pioneering in Parks and Parkways: Westchester County, New York (1895-1945)" by Marilyn E. Weigold, Public Works Historical Society (February 1980); Russ Blau; Douglas A. Willinger.

  • Central Westchester Parkway shield by Ralph Herman.
  • Lightpost by Jeff Saltzman.



  • Central Westchester Parkway exit list by Steve Anderson.


  • Central Westchester Parkway

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