Southern State Parkway

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Southern State Parkway marker

Southern State Parkway
Map of Long Island with Southern State Parkway highlighted in red
Route information
Length: 25.53 mi[2] (41.09 km)
Existed: 1927[1] – present
Major junctions
West end: Belt Pkwy. / Cross Island Pkwy. in Elmont
  Meadowbrook Pkwy. in North Merrick
Wantagh Pkwy. in North Wantagh
NY 135 in Wantagh
Robert Moses Causeway in West Islip
East end: Heckscher Pkwy. / Sagtikos Pkwy. in West Islip
Location
Counties: Nassau, Suffolk
Highway system

The Southern State Parkway (also known as the Southern State or Southern Parkway) is a 25.53-mile (41.09 km) limited-access highway on Long Island, New York, in the United States. The parkway begins at an interchange with the Belt and Cross Island parkways in Elmont, in Nassau County, and travels east to an interchange with the Sagtikos State Parkway in West Islip, Suffolk County, where the Southern State Parkway becomes the Heckscher State Parkway. The Southern State Parkway comprises the western portion of unsigned New York State Route 908M (NY 908M), with the Heckscher Parkway occupying the eastern section.

Construction of the highway, designed by Robert Moses, began in 1925. The first section of the parkway opened in 1927. It reached its original eastern terminus (Bay Shore Road) in 1949, and was extended to its current eastern terminus in 1962.

Route description[edit]

The Southern State Parkway at exit 13 (Central Avenue) nearing the western terminus in North Valley Stream

The Southern State Parkway begins at an interchange (exit 25A) with the Belt Parkway and the Cross Island Parkway on the Queens and Nassau County border in Elmont and North Valley Stream. After the interchange, the Southern State proceeds east as a six-lane divided parkway through North Valley Stream, passing north of St. Johns Cemetery before entering exit 13S and exit 13N, which serves Central Avenue, which connects to the Linden Boulevard that runs through Queens. Bending southeast through North Valley Stream, the parkway enters a partial diamond interchange with North Fletcher Avenue (exit 14).[3]

Running along the northern end of Valley Stream State Park, the parkway provides a ramp designated exit 15A, which connects to the park. A short distance later, the parkway enters exit 15, which connects to Corona Avenue. Proceeding westbound, a junction is also present with Franklin Avenue (designated exit 16N). After crossing into Malverne, the Southern State enters a cloverleaf interchange with Hempstead Avenue (exit 17). Crossing a line for the Long Island Rail Road, the parkway winds through Lakeview before crossing into Hempstead State Park. Crossing through the park, the parkway enters exit 18 for Eagle Avenue. After crossing Hempstead Lake, the parkway enters a cloverleaf interchange with Peninsula Boulevard (exit 19).[3]

The Southern State at exit 28N (Wantagh Avenue) in North Wantagh

Winding north of Mercy Medical Center, the route enters Rockville Centre, passing north of Molloy College before entering a cloverleaf with exit 20 (Baldwin Road and Grand Avenue). The six-lane parkway makes a bend after exit 20, crossing through North Baldwin, and into exit 21 with Nassau Road. After making a large bend to the northeast and turning east, the Southern State enters exit 22, a cloverleaf interchange with the Meadowbrook State Parkway in North Merrick. Proceeding westbound, a ramp is present to Meadowbrook Road (exit 23). Just east of that, the parkway enters exit 24S–N, a cloverleaf interchange with Merrick Avenue.[3]

Winding northeast, the parkway enters an interchange with NY 106 (North Newbridge Road). Now in North Bellmore, exit 26 connects to South Bismark Avenue on a northeastern stretch of parkway. Making a gradual bend eastward, the Southern State enters exit 27S–N, which is an interchange with the Wantagh State Parkway. Just east of the Wantagh, the Southern State enters an exit with Wantagh Avenue (exit 28S–N). After a short eastern stretch through the village of North Wantagh, the parkway enters an interchange with the Seaford–Oyster Bay Expressway (NY 135), designated as Exit 28A S–N.[3]

The Southern State eastbound at Exit 41N (Bay Shore Road) in West Islip

After the Seaford–Oyster Bay Expressway, the parkway enters an exit with Hicksville Road. Now in the town of Oyster Bay, the Southern State Parkway exit 30, with serves North Broadway in North Massapequa. Now in Massapequa State Park, the parkway enters exit 31, which serves as the southern terminus of the Bethpage State Parkway. Just before entering exit 32S–N, the parkway crosses into Suffolk County and the town of Babylon. After crossing into Suffolk County, the Southern State enters exit 32S–N, which serves NY 110 (Broad Hollow Road). Bending northeast through Babylon, the Southern State Parkway enters exit 33, which serves NY 109 (Farmingdale Road). Near the interchange, the parkway passes south of Republic Airport, which is connected via exit 34. Winding northeast through Babylon, the parkway enters exit 35, an interchange with CR 3 (Wellwood Avenue). Passing south of New Montefiore Cemetery, the Southern State Parkway crosses exit 36S–N, with CR 2 (Straight Path).[3]

After winding east through Babylon, the parkway crosses through Belmont Avenue before crossing into Belmont Lake State Park. Within the park, the Southern State crosses into exit 38, which serves the park directly. After winding out of Belmont Lake State Park, the parkway enters an interchange with NY 231 (the Babylon–Northport Expressway and Deer Park Avenue). Crossing south of Guggenheim Lake, the Southern State Parkway enters exit 40, which serves the northern end of the Robert Moses Causeway. From here, the highway enters West Islip, where it connects to Bay Shore Road at exit 41S. The westbound direction of the parkway between exit 40 and exit 41 is split into a local-express lane setup for about 1 mile (1.6 km). Each half of the split is two lanes wide. After the Bay Shore Road interchange is the Sagtikos State Parkway, which is connected via exit 41A. At this interchange, the Southern State Parkway becomes the Heckscher State Parkway, which continues east and south towards Heckscher State Park.[3]

History[edit]

Construction began in 1925 under the direction of Robert Moses, for the purpose of improving access to Jones Beach.[4] The land used had originally been a conduit path for water, owned by Brooklyn.[5] The first section of the parkway, eastward from the Queens–Nassau county line, opened in 1927.[1] By 1932, the four-lane, undivided road extended to Suffolk County. Further extensions used more modern road construction principles. It reached its originally planned eastern terminus (Bay Shore Road) in 1949, and its current eastern terminus (Heckscher State Parkway) in 1962. Following the post-war housing boom on Long Island, the parkway was widened and straightened in numerous places to serve commuters traveling at speeds unanticipated when the road was first constructed.[6]

Southern Parkway's first exit at Elmont is numbered 13. Cross Island Parkway once began the exit numbering scheme at the Whitestone Bridge as exit 1 and continued east on Southern State Parkway, before the construction of the Belt Parkway. The Cross Island Parkway's exit numbering scheme was changed to match the Belt Parkway's easterly number progression from the Belt's start at the Gowanus Expressway to the current Cross Island's terminus, now exit 36 at the Whitestone Bridge.

Originally constructed as a four-lane parkway, similar to Northern State Parkway, Southern Parkway was widened in the early 1950s to eight lanes from the city line to Hempstead Lake, and six lanes east of there. Since Southern Parkway was originally conceived as a "linear park" to connect Jones Beach and other state parks with the city, it was built in a meandering style appropriate for the low speeds and traffic density of the day. Stone and concrete arched overpasses were purposely constructed with low clearances for both aesthetic reasons and to ensure that commercial traffic wouldn't be able to use the parkway system.

Of interest is the original route of the Southern State at Hempstead Lake. Before the current fill that carries the present day parkway across the lake was built, traveling east before Eagle Avenue, the parkway veered sharply to the right, continued on what now is the park road in Hempstead Lake Park, crossed the dam at the southern end of Hempstead Lake, and turned sharply left on Peninsula Boulevard. The divided section of Peninsula Boulevard next to Hempstead Lake Park is actually the old Southern State Parkway, which was abandoned for a number of years until Nassau County bought the roadway in the late 1940s.[7]

Just east of exit 32, a service area used to operate beneath the underpass of County Route 47 (CR 47, named Great Neck Road) until 1985.[6] Exit 32, which is for NY 110, also once included CR 47.[8] Another service area was once located between exits 17 and 18.[9] Lastly, there were once toll booths located on the parkway between exits 13 and 14 near its western terminus at the Cross Island Parkway until 1978, although many road maps covered the toll booths until the early-to-mid-1980s.[6][10]

Some interchanges were redesigned. The original version of exit 32 contained a partial cloverleaf with NY 110 and connecting ramps to and from CR 47.[11] The original version of exit 36 was also a partial cloverleaf. The old version of exit 37 was a partial cloverleaf that included a direct entrance to the former headquarters of the Long Island State Park Commission,[12] and utilized eastbound re-entry to nearby exit 38, which had a north to east loop ramp, and eastbound connecting ramps to and from Sylvan Road,[13] the frontage road along the eastbound lane of the parkway between exits 37 and 39. The interchange between the Southern, Sagtikos, and Heckscher state parkways (exit 41A), was originally intended to be another trumpet interchange,[14] rather than the wye interchange it became.

Exit list[edit]

County Location Mile[2] km Exit Destinations Notes
Nassau North Valley Stream 0.00 0.00 Belt Pkwy. west – Brooklyn, Kennedy Airport Westbound terminus
0.00 0.00 Cross Island Pkwy. north – Whitestone Bridge, LaGuardia Airport Westbound exit and eastbound entrance; southern terminus of Cross Island Parkway
0.58 0.93 13 Central Avenue / Linden Boulevard – Valley Stream, Elmont Signed as 13S (south) and 13N (north) eastbound
1.55 2.49 14 North Fletcher Avenue – Valley Stream No westbound exit; serves Valley Stream State Park
15A Valley Stream State Park Eastbound exit only
2.23 3.59 15 Corona Avenue Signed as 15S (south) and 15N (north) westbound; serves Franklin Avenue eastbound
Franklin Square 16 Franklin Avenue Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
Malverne Park Oaks 3.56 5.73 17 Hempstead Avenue – West Hempstead, Malverne Signed as 17S (south) and 17N (north)
Lakeview 4.72 7.60 18 Eagle Avenue Serves Hempstead Lake State Park
South Hempstead 5.38 8.66 19 Peninsula Boulevard – Hempstead, Rockville Centre Signed as 19S (south) and 19N (north)
6.37 10.25 20 Baldwin Road / Grand Avenue Signed as 20S (south) and 20N (north)
Roosevelt 7.55 12.15 21 Nassau Road – Hempstead, Freeport
North Merrick 8.55 13.76 22 Meadowbrook Pkwy. – Jones Beach, Mineola Signed as 22S (south) and 22N (north)
9.06 14.58 23 Meadowbrook Road
9.31 14.98 24 Merrick Avenue – Westbury, Merrick Signed as 24S (south) and 24N (north)
North Bellmore 10.60 17.06 25 NY 106 – East Meadow, Bellmore Signed as 25S (south) and 25N (north); serves Nassau University Medical Center
26 Bellmore Road Eastbound exit and entrance
North Wantagh 11.77 18.94 27 Wantagh Pkwy. – Westbury, Jones Beach Signed as 27S (south) and 27N (north)
12.50 20.12 28 Wantagh Avenue – Levittown, Wantagh Signed as 28S (south) and 28N (north)
Wantagh 13.35 21.48 NY 135 – Seaford, Syosset Signed as 28A  (south) and 28B  (north)
North Massapequa 13.79 22.19 29 NY 107 (Hicksville Road) – Hicksville, Massapequa Signed as 29S (south) and 29N (north) westbound
14.94 24.04 30 Broadway – Massapequa, Farmingdale Signed as 30S (south) and 30N (north)
15.38 24.75 31 Bethpage Pkwy. north / Linden Street – Massapequa Park, Bethpage State Park Exit B1 (Bethpage Parkway); southern terminus of Bethpage Parkway; no access to Linden Street westbound
Suffolk North Amityville 16.88 27.17 32 NY 110 – Huntington, Amityville Signed as 32S (south) and 32N (north); CR 1 (County Line Road) accessible via exit 32S eastbound
North Lindenhurst 18.30 29.45 33 NY 109 – Farmingdale, West Babylon Same-direction connections only
34 CR 28 (New Highway) Exit only westbound (use NY 109 for entrance); parclo interchange eastbound
19.03 30.63 35 CR 3 (Wellwood Avenue) – Lindenhurst
West Babylon 20.12 32.38 36 CR 2 (Straight Path) – Lindenhurst, Wyandanch Signed as 36S (south) and 36N (north)
21.73 34.97 37 CR 107 (Belmont Avenue) – West Babylon Signed as 37S (south) and 37N (north)
North Babylon 22.12 35.60 38 Belmont Lake State Park Parclo interchange with eastbound loop ramps
23.06 37.11 39 NY 231 (Deer Park Avenue) – Deer Park, Babylon Signed as 39S (south) and 39N (north)
West Islip 24.87 40.02 40 Robert Moses Causeway south – Ocean Beaches
41 CR 57 (Bay Shore Road) – Bay Shore, Deer Park Signed as 41S (south) and 41N (north)
25.53 41.09 41A Sagtikos Pkwy. north – Sunken Meadow State Park, Kings Park Eastern terminus; southern terminus of the Sagtikos Parkway
25.53 41.09 Heckscher Pkwy. east Continuation beyond Sagtikos Parkway
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Regional Plan of New York and its Environs. Regional Plan Association. 1929. 
  2. ^ a b "2007 Traffic Data Report for New York State" (PDF). New York State Department of Transportation. July 25, 2008. Retrieved July 17, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Microsoft. "overview map of the Southern State Parkway". Bing Maps (Map). Cartography by Nokia. http://binged.it/PApyzn. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
  4. ^ Long Island State Parkway System. New York State Department of Transportation. 1985. 
  5. ^ Robert A. Caro (1974, Vintage Ed. 1975). The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York. Vintage Books (Random House). pp. 157–162. 
  6. ^ a b c Anderson, Steve. "Southern State Parkway". NYCRoads. Retrieved March 18, 2010. 
  7. ^ 1939 Nassau County Atlas (Dolph & Stewart)
  8. ^ Hagstrom Map (1940). Nassau County (Map). http://www.greaternyroads.info/maps/fullsize/nas40_03.jpg. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  9. ^ Hempstead Lake State Park, 1966 (Historic Aerials)
  10. ^ H.M. Gousha Company (1967). New York and Vicinity (Map). http://www.broermapsonline.org/members/NorthAmerica/UnitedStates/Midatlantic/NewYork/NewYorkCity/gousha_ra_1967_038.html. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  11. ^ Hagstrom Map (1940). Nassau County (Map). http://www.greaternyroads.info/maps/fullsize/nas40_03.jpg. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  12. ^ Southern State Parkway, Exits 37 in 1953 (Historic Aerials)
  13. ^ Southern State Parkway, Exit 38 in 1953 (Historic Aerials)
  14. ^ Southern State and Sagtikos State Parkway termini with unbuilt Heckscher State Park Spur interchange R.O.W.; 1953 (Historic Aerials)

External links[edit]