Trans-Manhattan Expressway

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Interstate 95 marker U.S. Route 1 marker

Trans-Manhattan Expressway
Route information
Maintained by NYSDOT
Length: 1.38 mi[1] (2.22 km)
Existed: 1962 – present
Major junctions
West end: I-95 / US 1-9 in Fort Lee, NJ
  NY 9A / Henry Hudson Parkway in Washington Heights
Harlem River Drive in Washington Heights
East end: I-95 / US 1 in The Bronx
Counties: New York
Highway system

The Trans-Manhattan Expressway, also known as the George Washington Bridge Expressway,[2] is an east–west limited-access highway in New York City, in the United States. It traverses the northern panhandle of the borough of Manhattan at one of its narrowest points, running for 1.38 miles (2.22 km) in a depressed channel through the Washington Heights neighborhood. The highway connects the George Washington Bridge over the Hudson River to the Alexander Hamilton Bridge over the Harlem River, where it becomes the Cross Bronx Expressway. The expressway is designated as a portion of Interstate 95 (I-95). Running through tunnels created by high-rise apartment buildings built over the expressway, approximately 280,000 vehicles traverse this 12-lane stretch of highway on a daily average basis.[3]

Route description[edit]

Road and apartments

The Trans-Manhattan Expressway begins as part of I-95, U.S. Route 1 or US 1, and US 9 at the eastern approach to the George Washington Bridge. It initially heads eastward across Fort Washington Park, connecting with the Henry Hudson Parkway (New York State Route 9A or NY 9A) at the park's eastern edge near Riverside Drive and 168th Street.[4] The route continues on, crossing the Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights in a cut flanked by 178th Street to the south and 179th Street to the north. Roughly midway across Manhattan, US 9 leaves the freeway to follow Broadway northward toward the Bronx and Westchester County. Proceeding eastward, the road has several ramps that connect to the Harlem River Drive, and the expressway's original Harlem river crossing, the Washington Bridge (now carrying 181st Street local traffic over the Harlem River). The expressway then cuts across Highbridge Park and ultimately crosses into the Bronx by way of the Alexander Hamilton Bridge. The highway officially becomes the Cross Bronx Expressway at the borough line separating the Bronx from Manhattan.


The highway was originally planned as an open cut between 178th and 179th Streets, traversed by bridges carrying the major north–south avenues in upper Manhattan. The City of New York approved the creation of the highway in June 1957 as part of a joint effort with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey that also called for the creation of the lower deck on the George Washington Bridge and construction of the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal above the cut for the Expressway.[5]

The 12-lane Trans-Manhattan Expressway, with three lanes of traffic heading in each direction to and from each deck of the double-decked George Washington Bridge, opened to traffic in 1962 as part of a $60 million program to improve access roads for the George Washington Bridge, whose lower deck opened that same year.[6] The Trans-Manhattan Expressway provides access to and from the Henry Hudson Parkway and Riverside Drive on the West Side of Manhattan, and to and from Amsterdam Avenue and the Harlem River Drive on the East Side.

The expressway was one of the first to use air rights over a major highway. After completion of the expressway, the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal and a series of four high-rise apartment buildings were built over the expressway. Local traffic reporters frequently refer to congestion "under the Apartments" during morning and evening rush hours.

On the east end at Amsterdam Avenue, portals to tunnels under 178th and 179th Streets (on each side of the expressway) still exist; the expressway replaced them.[7]

Exit list[edit]

The entire route is in the New York City borough of Manhattan.

Location Mile[1] km Old exit New exit Destinations Notes
Hudson River 0.00 0.00 I‑95 south / US 1-9 south / US 46 west (G.W. Bridge) – New Jersey Continuation into New Jersey; eastern terminus of US 46
Washington Heights 0.55 0.89 1 NY 9A / Henry Hudson Parkway / US 9 north (West 178th Street) / West 181st Street Northern terminus of concurrency with US 9;
signed as exit 1A southbound
1.16 1.87 1B 2 Harlem River Drive to FDR Drive / Amsterdam Avenue / University Avenue – Manhattan Northbound exit and southbound entrance
Harlem River 1.38 2.22 I-95 north / US 1 north (Alexander Hamilton Bridge) – New Haven, CT Continuation into the Bronx
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[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. ^ Ingraham, Joseph C. (January 1, 1961). "Around the Town: New York City's System of Bypasses is Beginning to Take Shape". The New York Times. p. X17. Retrieved April 4, 2010. 
  3. ^ "New York State Department of Transportation Traffic Volume Report 2011 - Page 80". September 25, 2012. Retrieved September 22, 2013. 
  4. ^ See photos on Google Streets here and here
  5. ^ Bennett, Charles G. (June 14, 1957). "CITY VOTES CHANGE IN HUDSON BRIDGE; Port Agency Gets Go-Ahead for $183,000,000 Work on George Washington Span BRIDGE CHANGES APPROVED BY CITY". The New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved December 3, 2008. 
  6. ^ Ingraham, Joseph C. (August 30, 1962). "Lower Deck of George Washington Bridge Is Opened". The New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved April 4, 2010. 
  7. ^ Anderson, Steve. "Trans-Manhattan Expressway (I-95, US 1 and US 9)". NYCRoads. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 

Route map: Google / Bing