Trans-Manhattan Expressway

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Interstate 95 marker U.S. Route 1 marker

Trans-Manhattan Expressway
Route information
Maintained by Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Length: 0.8 mi (1.3 km)
Existed: 1962 – present
Major junctions
  NY 9A / Henry Hudson Parkway
Harlem River Drive
Counties: New York
Highway system

The Trans-Manhattan Expressway is an east–west limited-access highway in New York City, in the United States. It traverses the northern end of the borough of Manhattan at one of its narrowest points, running for 0.8 miles (1.3 km) in a cut through Washington Heights.[1] The highway connects the George Washington Bridge over the Hudson River to the Alexander Hamilton Bridge over the Harlem River. Designated Interstate 95 (I-95) and U.S. Route 1, approximately 280,000 vehicles traverse the highway on a daily average basis.[2] Completed in the early 1960s, the George Washington Bridge Bus Station and the high-rise Bridge Apartments built over the expressway create Intermittent tunnels. It is operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.[3]

Route description[edit]

Road and apartments

At its western end the Trans-Manhattan Expressway is part of I-95, U.S. Route 1 or US 1, and US 9 at the eastern approach to the George Washington Bridge. It crosses 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, the expressway's original Harlem river crossing, the Washington Bridge (now carrying 181st Street local traffic over the Harlem River). At Highbridge Park the roadway becomes Alexander Hamilton Bridge to the Bronx, where it becomes the Cross Bronx Expressway.


The TME replaced tunnels under 178th and 179th Streets as the crosstown route. They are now used as storage by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ).[5]

Announced in 1957, the expressway was built in conjunction with addition of the lower level of the bridge.[6] Originally known as the George Washington Bridge Expressway,[7] the highway was originally planned as an open cut between 178th and 179th Streets, traversed by overpasss 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 PANYNJ 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.[8] The Trans-Manhattan, the main New York approach to the George Washington Bridge, .08/10ths of a mile.[9] The projects required demolish of numerous buildings and the relocation of 1,824 families.[10] Overpasses over the open cut passing under Broadway and Wadsworth Avenue and St. Nicholas Avenue were place in December 1959.[11]

The 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.[12] 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.[3] Local traffic reporters frequently refer to congestion "under the Apartments" during morning and evening rush hours.[13]

Interstate 95/US 1 in Manhattan[edit]

The route of Interstate 95 in the New York City borough of Manhattan.

Location Mile[14] 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. ^ Heller, Susan; Dunlap, David W. (August 25, 1986). "NEW YORK DAY BY DAY; Big Name And Short Road". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-05-22. 
  2. ^ "New York State Department of Transportation Traffic Volume Report 2011 - Page 80". September 25, 2012. Retrieved September 22, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "6.12: ROADWAY OPEN CUTS: 6.12: ROADWAY OPEN MANHATTAN". Retrieved 2015-02-10. 
  4. ^ See photos on Google Streets here and here
  5. ^ Anderson, Steve. "Trans-Manhattan Expressway (I-95, US 1 and US 9)". NYCRoads. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 
  6. ^ Ingraham, Joseph C. (February 18, 1957). "NEW BRIDGE LINKS PLANNED UPTOWN; Double Decking of George Washington Span to Bring Vast Changes in Area NEW BRIDGE LINKS PLANNED UPTOWN For 60 Million Vehicles a Year To Add Supplemental Links". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-05-22. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ Heller, Susan; Dunlap, David W. (August 25, 1986). "NEW YORK DAY BY DAY; Big Name And Short Road". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-05-22. 
  10. ^ Ingraham, Joseph C (April 23, 1959). "Relocation Is Almost Completed Near George Washington Bridge". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-05-22. 
  11. ^ "STREETS TO BE RAISED; Girders to Be Placed Today to Span Bridge Approach". The New York Times. December 14, 1959. Retrieved 2014-05-22. 
  12. ^ Ingraham, Joseph C. (August 30, 1962). "Lower Deck of George Washington Bridge Is Opened". The New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved April 4, 2010. 
  13. ^ Chen, David (June 18, 2004). "Life on the Road; Learning to Sleep as Trucks Roar Through Basement". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-02-21. 
  14. ^ "2007 Traffic Data Report for New York State" (PDF). New York State Department of Transportation. July 25, 2008. Retrieved July 17, 2009. 

Route map: Google / Bing