AN EXPRESSWAY THROUGH THE NORTHERN BRONX: As early as 1941, the New York City Planning Department proposed an east-west express highway along Gun Hill Road through the northern Bronx. The route was to link the Bronx River and Hutchinson River parkways, as well as proposed north-south express highways roughly along the routes of the Major Deegan Expressway and the New England Thruway.

The city's master arterial plan proposed the "Gun Hill Crosstown Highway" as follows:

Gun Hill Crosstown Highway: This is an east-west express route through the northerly section of the Bronx, interconnecting important highways leading into New York from Westchester County, and major streets and express highways in the Bronx. Between the Bronx River Parkway and Eastern Boulevard (New England Thruway), Gun Hill Road passes through territory that is largely undeveloped. Acquisition of additional right-of-way and conversion to an express highway would be readily feasible.

In the mid-1960's, the Regional Plan Association (RPA) and the Tri-State Transportation Commission proposed a network of new expressways and parkways in the New York metropolitan area. One of those newly proposed routes was the City Line Expressway, which may have been a proposed rerouting of NY 164. The proposed City Line Expressway, which was to run along East 233rd Street through the Woodlawn and Wakefield sections of the Bronx, was to be constructed approximately one mile north of the original "Gun Hill" alignment.

Beginning near EXIT 13 (East 233rd Street) of the Major Deegan Expressway (I-87), the City Line Expressway was to intersect the Bronx River Parkway near EXIT 10, and continue east to the New England Thruway (I-95), near EXIT 12 (Baychester Avenue) in Co-Op City. According to contributor Daniel Timothy Dey, an elaborate interchange may have been constructed between the New England Thruway, the unbuilt Sheridan Expressway extension (I-895) and the unbuilt Central Corridor Expressway (NY 125) at the eastern terminus of the City Line Expressway.

In the following statement, the Tri-State Transportation Commission stated the purpose and benefits of the proposed expressway:

The proposed City Line Expressway is to be an east-west route serving peripheral traffic through the northern Bronx. It is to relieve congestion on the Cross Bronx Expressway and the Cross County Parkway, and provide a more direct route to the Throgs Neck Bridge for routes approaching New York City from the north and northwest. It could potentially connect with a future Hudson River crossing to Bergen County.

With the departure of Robert Moses as New York City's arterial coordinator in the late 1960's, the expressway never made it past the planning stages, and attention shifted toward improving transit in the region.

RE-EVALUATING THE CITY LINE EXPRESSWAY: A debate on misc.transport.road over the construction of expressways in the Bronx had some suggesting construction of the City Line Expressway, possibly as a bored tunnel under East 233rd Street, to relieve mixed-traffic congestion on the Cross Bronx Expressway (I-95) and the Cross Westchester Expressway (I-287). However, the challenging terrain of the Bronx River valley poses problem for potential construction of an east-west route.

SOURCES: "Master Plan: Express Highways, Parkways and Major Streets," New York City Planning Department (1941); "Expressway Plans," Regional Plan Association News (May 1964); Transportation 1985: A Regional Plan, Tri-State Transportation Commission (1966); Peter T. Daniels; Daniel T. Dey; Douglas A. Willinger.

  • NY 164 shield by Ralph Herman.
  • Lightpost by Jeff Saltzman.


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