Grand Central Parkway

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Grand Central Parkway marker

Grand Central Parkway
Map of New York City with Grand Central Parkway highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by NYSDOT
Length: 14.61 mi[1] (23.51 km)
Existed: 1936[citation needed] – present
Major junctions
West end: I-278 in Astoria
  I-495 in Flushing Meadows Park
I-678 / Jackie Robinson Parkway in Kew Gardens Hills
I-295 in Cunningham Park
Cross Island Parkway in Glen Oaks
East end: Northern State Parkway in Little Neck
Location
Counties: Queens
Highway system

The Grand Central Parkway (GCP) is a 14.61-mile (23.51 km) long parkway that stretches from the Triborough Bridge in New York City to Nassau County on Long Island. At the Queens–Nassau border, it becomes the Northern State Parkway, which runs across the northern part of Long Island through Nassau County and into Suffolk County, where it ends in Hauppauge. The westernmost stretch (from the Triborough Bridge to exit 4) also carries a short stretch of Interstate 278 (I-278). The parkway runs through Queens and passes the Cross Island Parkway, Long Island Expressway, LaGuardia Airport and Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. The parkway is designated New York State Route 907M (NY 907M), an unsigned reference route. Despite its name, the Grand Central Parkway was not named after Grand Central Terminal.

The Grand Central Parkway has a few unique distinctions. First, it is apparently the only parkway in New York City to carry an elliptical black-on-white design for its trailblazer. Parkways throughout The Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island use the state-standard design, while the Belt system parkways use a modified version of the Long Island regional parkway shield with the Montauk Point Lighthouse logo. Second, it is one of the few parkways in the state to allow truck traffic to any extent. The section shared with I-278 allows for small trucks—larger ones still cannot pass under the intentionally designed low underpasses. Oversize trucks must travel on Astoria Boulevard, the local service road, to reach the bridge.

Route description[edit]

The western end of the Grand Central Parkway in Astoria, as seen facing towards the BMT Astoria Line

The Grand Central Parkway begins at exit 44 off eastbound I-278 (the Brooklyn–Queens Expressway) in the Astoria section of Queens. The parkway proceeds east past St. Michaels Cemetery, entering exit 5, which serves 82nd Street and Astoria Boulevard in East Elmhurst, also connecting to the Marine Air Terminal and Terminal A of Fiorello LaGuardia Airport. After crossing over 82nd Street and Ditmars Boulevard, the parkway enters the airport area, passing south of runway 4-22. A short distance to the northeast, exit 6 arrives at an interchange with 94th Street and the access to Terminal B of the airport. Immediately after exit 7 forks northward on a ramp to the airport's terminals B, C and D. After exit 7, the Grand Central bends southeast and away from LaGuardia Airport, paralleling the Long Island Sound into the eastbound only exit 8, which serves 111th Street.[2]

Entering the Corona section of Queens, the Grand Central enters exit 9, which serves NY 25A (Northern Boulevard) just east of Citi Field. The Grand Central then proceeds south, crossing over the Long Island Rail Road's Port Washington Branch and soon into Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Through the park, the parkway passes west of Arthur Ashe Stadium, the Queens Zoo and the Unisphere before entering exit 10, a cloverleaf interchange with the Long Island Expressway (I-495). Soon crossing into Forest Hills, the parkway continues through Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, passing Meadow Lake, entering exit 11, connecting to 69th Road and Jewel Avenue in Rego Park. After that interchange, the parkway bends southeast through Forest Hills, passing Willow Lake and exit 12, which connects to NY 25 (Queens Boulevard) via 78th Avenue.[2]

The Grand Central continues its bend, now proceeding eastward over Corona Yard, entering the Kew Gardens Interchange (exits 13, 14 and 15), connecting I-678 (the Van Wyck Expressway), Union Turnpike and the Jackie Robinson Parkway in Kew Gardens. After the Kew Gardens Interchange, the Grand Central Parkway continues east into the Briarwood section of Queens, where exit 16 connects to Parsons Boulevard via a service road. After crossing through the developed neighborhood of Briarwood, the parkway enters Jamaica Hills, passing south of Queens Hospital near 164th Street. Proceeding westbound, an exit (exit 17) is present, connecting to 168th Street, while eastbound, exit 18 connects the Grand Central to Utopia Parkway.[2]

At the interchange with Utopia Parkway, the Grand Central passes south of St. John's University, soon winding northeast into exit 19, which serves 188th Street in Jamaica Estates. After exit 19, the parkway winds eastward into Cunningham Park, where it enters exit 20, which serves Francis Lewis Boulevard and exit 21, which connects to the Clearview Expressway (I-295) and its southern terminus. The parkway leaves Cunningham Park, entering the Bellerose section of Queens, entering exit 22, which connects to Union Turnpike via Stronghurst Avenue. The route then enters Alley Pond Park, where it interchanges with the Cross Island Parkway and Winchester Boulevard. After the interchange, the Grand Central passes west of Creedmoor Hospital, winding northeast into exit 24, which serves Little Neck Parkway before winding northeast to the Nassau County line in Little Neck. At this crossing, the parkway changes names to the Northern State Parkway, which continues east towards Hauppauge.[2]

History[edit]

The Grand Central Parkway was first planned in 1922, as a connection between Queens Boulevard and Nassau County, helping city dwellers reach Jones Beach more easily. The original section is a parallel route to the pre-existing Union Turnpike, which was a congested street. Construction for the Parkway began in 1931, and the parkway was widened in 1961 in preparation for the 1964 New York World's Fair in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park.

Exit list[edit]

The entire route is in Queens.

Location Mile[1] km Exit Destinations Notes
Astoria 0.00 0.00 I-278 east (Robert F. Kennedy Bridge) – Manhattan, Bronx Western terminus; west end of I-278 overlap
0.00 0.00 45 31st Street / Astoria Boulevard (I-278 Truck) No exit number eastbound
Astoria–East Elmhurst 0.80 1.29 4 I-278 west (Brooklyn–Queens Expressway) – Verrazano Bridge, Staten Island East end of I-278 overlap; no exit number eastbound
East Elmhurst 1.34 2.16 5 Astoria Boulevard / 82nd Street – Terminal A Exit for Delta Shuttle Flights to Boston, Chicago and Washington, DC
2.26 3.64 6 94th Street – Terminal B Parking Westbound exit is part of exit 7
2.51 4.04 7 LaGuardia Airport – Terminals B, C, and D
3.55 5.71 8 111th Street Eastbound exit only
Corona 3.79 6.10 9W NY 25A west (Northern Boulevard) Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
3.79 6.10 9E I-678 (Whitestone Expressway) / NY 25A east (Northern Boulevard) – Citi Field
9P Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Tennis Center Westbound exit and entrance
Corona–Forest Hills 5.10 8.21 10 I-495 (Long Island Expressway) – Manhattan, Eastern Long Island Signed as 10W (west) and 10E (east)
Forest Hills 5.94 9.56 11 69th Road / Jewel Avenue Signed as 11W (west) and 11E (east) westbound
6.50 10.46 12 NY 25 (Queens Boulevard) / 78th Avenue Eastbound exit only
Kew Gardens Hills 7.19 11.57 13W Jackie Robinson Parkway west – Brooklyn
7.19 11.57 13S I-678 south (Van Wyck Expressway) – Kennedy Airport Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
7.53 12.12 14 Union Turnpike / Main Street Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
15 NY 25 west (Queens Boulevard) / Union Turnpike Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
Briarwood 8.11 13.05 16 Parsons Boulevard / 164th Street Eastbound exit only
Jamaica Hills
Hillcrest
17 168th Street Westbound exit only
9.13 14.69 18 Utopia Parkway No direct westbound exit; westbound exit is part of exit 17
Jamaica Estates
Holliswood
9.83 15.82 19 188th Street
Cunningham Park 10.57–
10.86
17.01–
17.48
20 Francis Lewis Boulevard Signed as 20B (south) and 20A (north)
11.10 17.86 21 I-295 north (Clearview Expressway) / NY 25 (Hillside Avenue) to I-495 – Throgs Neck Bridge, Bronx Signed as 21S (south) and 21N (north); exit 1 on I-295; New York City's only stack interchange
Bellerose 11.93 19.20 22 Union Turnpike Westbound exit is part of exit 23
Glen Oaks 12.56 20.21 23 Cross Island Parkway to I-495 / Winchester Boulevard – Alley Park Signed as 23S (south) and 23N (north)
Glen Oaks–
Little Neck
13.67 22.00 24 Little Neck Parkway
14.61 23.51 Northern State Parkway east – Hauppauge Eastern terminus; continuation into Nassau County
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "2007 Traffic Data Report for New York State" (PDF). New York State Department of Transportation. July 25, 2008. Retrieved July 17, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d Microsoft. "overview map of the Grand Central Parkway". Bing Maps (Map). Cartography by Nokia. http://binged.it/O1uInW. Retrieved June 21, 2012.

External links[edit]