CONNECTING QUEENS BOULEVARD WITH SUNRISE HIGHWAY: In 1941, the New York City Planning Department recommended that an expressway be constructed along five miles of the LIRR right-of-way through South Jamaica, Locust Manor and Laurelton. The City's plan for the express highway, which was to run southeast from the terminus Queens Boulevard (NY 25) in Jamaica to the intersection of the Belt Parkway and Sunrise Highway (NY 27) in Laurelton, was as follows:

An express connection between Queens Boulevard and Sunrise Highway is a necessity. Large volumes of traffic now traveling between these important highways use several different routes, all of which pass through congested areas and are inadequate to handle the traffic. The construction of an express route in the vicinity of the right-of-way of the Southern Division of the LIRR would make provision for this traffic. The Borough President of Queens has estimated that the property required for this right-of-way could be acquired for about $2,375,000.

The proposed Kew-Laurelton Express Highway did not have a known numerical route designation. It was to be built in conjunction with city and state projects to convert both Queens Boulevard and Sunrise Highway into expressway facilities. However, these upgrade plans were delayed by the onset of World War II, and ultimately, were never implemented.

In the late 1950's, Robert Moses, the arterial coordinator for New York City, shifted attention to creating a new north-south express route through southeast Queens. Moses proposed an extension of the Clearview Expressway (I-295, initially planned as part of I-78) to connect southeast Queens with the Throgs Neck Bridge to the north, and with Kennedy Airport to the south. Faced with significant community opposition, Governor Nelson Rockefeller killed the Clearview extension in 1971.

SOURCES: "Master Plan: Express Highways, Parkways and Major Streets," New York City Planning Commission (1941).

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