Interstate 495 (New York): Wikis


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Interstate 495 shield
Interstate 495
Auxiliary route of the Interstate Highway System
Maintained by NYSDOT

Map of New York with I-495 highlighted in red
Length: 71.02 mi[1] (114.30 km)
Formed: 1940 (LIE); 1958 (I-495)[2]
West end: Queens Midtown Tunnel entrance in Manhattan
I-278 in Queens
I-678 / Grand Central Parkway in Queens
I-295 in Queens
Cross Island Parkway in Queens
Northern Parkway in Nassau
Sagtikos Parkway in Suffolk
East end: CR 58 in Riverhead
Numbered highways in New York
< I-490 NY 495 NY 531 >
InterstateU.S.N.Y. (former) – Reference

Interstate 495 (abbreviated I-495, better known as the Long Island Expressway or the L.I.E. colloquially) is a 71.02 mile (114.30 km)-long Interstate Highway on Long Island, New York. The western terminus of the route is at the western portal of the Queens-Midtown Tunnel in the New York City borough of Manhattan. The eastern terminus is at County Road 58 in Riverhead, Suffolk County. Despite being an auxiliary route of I-95, it does not actually intersect I-95 since the Mid-Manhattan Expressway was cancelled (however, it does connect to I-95 through I-295).


Route description


New York City

I-495 in Queens with heavy traffic in both directions.

The expressway begins at the Queens-Midtown Tunnel in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan. Emerging from the tunnel in Queens, it is subdivided by name into three sections: the Queens-Midtown Expressway from the tunnel toll plaza to Queens Boulevard, the Horace Harding Expressway from said intersection to the Nassau County line, and the Long Island Expressway in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, though almost all locals and most signage use "the Long Island Expressway" or "the L.I.E." to refer the entire length of I-495.[3] A mile after entering Queens the LIE meets Interstate 278 (The Brooklyn-Queens Expressway) at interchange 16. After Queens Boulevard the LIE meets the Grand Central Parkway then the Van Wyck Expressway (I-678). Because the two interchanges are close together, the highway employs a collector/distributor road. I-495 passes the Clearview Expressway then the Cross Island Parkway before entering Nassau County.

Crossing New Calvary Cemetery
I-495 in Nassau County

The "Queens Giant", the oldest and tallest tree in the New York metropolitan area, is near the Long Island Expressway in northeastern Queens (near the Douglaston Plaza Mall) and is visible from westbound lanes.

Nassau County

Heading into Nassau County, the expressway sports a High-Occupancy Vehicle Lane (HOV), which runs all the way into central Suffolk County. In its run through Nassau, it is the only major east–west highway that does not interchange with the Meadowbrook or the Wantagh parkways, which end to the south at the adjacent Northern State Parkway (which meets the LIE three times, although it only actually crosses once, at exit 37A from Northern). It does, however, interchange with the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway like the east–west parkways do, and often has heavy traffic.

Suffolk County

Heading into Suffolk County, the LIE continues its 8-lane configuration with the HOV lane all the way out to Exit 64 (NY 112). At this point, the HOV lane ends, and the expressway is reduced to 6-lanes total (3 eastbound, 3 westbound). In addition to the narrowing, the concrete Jersey barrier also ends at Route 112, replaced by a wide, grassy median. Also, the asphalt road surface is replaced by a concrete surface. From this point eastward, the expressway runs through rural and woodland areas on its trek towards Riverhead. Exit 68 (William Floyd Parkway) marks the terminus of the service road. Exit 70 (Suffolk CR 111) in Manorville is the last full-interchange, as it is the last interchange that allows eastbound traffic on, and the first to allow westbound off. After Exit 71 (Nugent Drive), the expressway begins to narrow as it approaches its eastern terminus. Until about 2008, just before Exit 72 (NY Route 25), the 3-eastbound lanes narrowed to two, which in turn narrowed almost immediately to a single lane at Exit 73, which lies 800 feet (240 m) east of Exit 72. All traffic would then flow off of Exit 73 onto Route 58, marking the end of the expressway. As of 2008, one lane has been designated for Exit 72, and another one for 73, ending the squeeze into a single lane at Exit 73.


Because of the cancellation of the Mid-Manhattan Expressway, I-495 does not meet Interstate 95. The LIE was constructed in stages starting in 1939, when the Queens-Midtown Tunnel was built, until 1972, when its Riverhead terminus was finished. Plans have existed to construct a Long Island Crossing that would extend the LIE across Long Island Sound to either Guilford, Connecticut, Old Saybrook, Connecticut, or Rhode Island via a series of existing and man-made islands, but a lack of funding as well as public opposition have killed these proposals.[4]

Previously, the LIE was New York State Route 495 to the east of the Clearview Expressway (Interstate 295), but in the 1980s, the NY 495 signs were taken down and I-495 extended to the east end of the LIE.

Originally, I-495 was to stretch from the Queens Midtown Tunnel and I-278 to I-295, the Clearview Expressway. Plans later included creating the Mid-Manhattan Expressway across Manhattan to the Lincoln Tunnel, to connect to I-95 in New Jersey. These plans were eventually cancelled, and the NJ stretch of I-495 was downgraded to a NJ state highway. However, Long Island lobbied to extend I-495 east, upgrading NY 24 to NY 495 and then I-495, to Riverhead where it terminates at NY 25. Since I-495 extends from a city outward, it is technically a spur, which should have an odd first digit. Even first digits are usually assigned to bypasses and beltways. A proposed Orient-Watch Hill Bridge would have connected I-495 back to I-95 in Rhode Island.

From 1994 to 2005, High-occupancy vehicle lanes (HOV) were added to I-495. Beginning with a small section in Western Suffolk County, the lanes were added in subsequent sections until their completion on June 30, 2005. There is one HOV lane in each direction, in the median of the highway. They now run from Exit 31 Cross Island Parkway to Exit 64 at Medford in central Suffolk County.[citation needed]

From 6:00 am to 10:00 am and from 3pm (15:00) to 8 pm (20:00) Monday through Friday, the HOV lanes are limited to buses, motorcycles, and Clean Pass vehicles without occupancy requirement and passenger vehicles with at least two occupants. Trailers and commercial trucks are always prohibited therein.[5]

Smaller highways continue on from the end of the LIE to Greenport on the North Fork and past the Hamptons to Montauk on the South Fork. Cynics have suggested that the acronym "LIE" is appropriate since, due to the high volume of traffic on it, the term "expressway" is just that, a lie. This volume of traffic has led to the nickname of "The World's Largest Parking Lot." However, that title is now somewhat erroneous. Many Long Island residents admit, thanks in part to recently finished construction of an HOV lane stretching from the Queens border to Exit 64, that the LIE tends to move better than the island's east–west parkways, the Northern State Parkway and the Southern State Parkway. Traffic jams still occur in the Queens and western Nassau sections of the LIE during rush hour.

One could argue that the highway is technically only referred to as the Long Island Expressway in Nassau and Suffolk counties, while in Queens, the service roads are called the Queens-Midtown Expressway (between the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and Queens Boulevard) and Horace Harding Expressway (between Queens Boulevard and the Nassau County line), and are generally signed as such like any other city streets. It is common to refer to the service roads by these names — particularly Horace Harding — in local usage, for instance when referring to the location of a business on that address. The names may have been intended to refer to sections of the expressway proper, but current guide signs (and Queens residents) simply refer to it as the Long Island Expressway.

Horace J. Harding (1863–1929) was a finance magnate who directed the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad and the New York Municipal Railways System. Harding used his influence to promote the development of Long Island’s roadways, lending strong support to Robert Moses’s “great parkway plan.” Harding also urged construction of a highway from Queens Boulevard to the Nassau County Line, in order to provide better access to Oakland Country Club, where he was a member. After his death, the Queens-Nassau County section of the LIE was named for Harding. Horace Harding was not related to the former President Warren G. Harding.

Suffolk County Road 48 was originally intended to become part of the North Fork extension of the Long Island Expressway.[6]

I-495 lacked proper lighting along its route in Nassau and Suffolk counties for many years. Because of this, motorists would be driving into complete darkess after crossing the Queens-Nassau border. Despite constant requests from New York local officials, no immediate plans were made. Finally, in 1980, the first streelights were installed in eastern Nassau county. The final streetlights were installed between exits 39 and 40 in 2002 in Nassau County.[7]

Proposed interchanges and service road configurations

As the Long Island Expressway was being built across Long Island, it was specifically being designed to accommodate certain topographical conditions and proposed interchanges. Exit 30 was originally a partial cloverleaf interchange with Cross Island Parkway. Eastbound Exit 30S was for Easthampton Boulevard with a connecting ramp to the Southbound Cross Island Parkway. Exit 31 was originally a Westbound Only interchange for Douglaston Parkway.[8] Exit 39A was intended for the proposed extension of the Wantagh State Parkway near Powell Road in Old Westbury. It was going to be a "Y" Interchange with an east-to-southbound only off-ramp and a north-to-westbound only on-ramp running beneath Powell Road.[9][10] Exit 40 originally had only same-directional off-ramps under the Expressway to realigned sections of NY 25. When Exits 41 N-S was originally constructed, it had no south-to-west connecting ramp. Westbound access to the expressway was provided at the nearby Exit 40 on-ramp at NY 25.[11] An alternate design for Exit 42 was to be similar to the one proposed for NY 135 and Bethpage State Parkway[12], and westbound Exit 46 was originally a partial cloverleaf.[13][14] Exit 47 was intended for the extension of the Bethpage State Parkway near Washington Avenue in Plainview. This was to be a partial cloverleaf with southbound only off-ramps in both directions, and northbound only on-ramps in both directions. The West-to-Southbound ramp was also to have an additional connecting ramp to a two-way frontage road for a development and an industrial area near Exit 46.[15] Notice that Exit 47 is now intended as the truck inspection site between exits 46 and 48. The original rights-of-way for the service roads between Exits 48 and 49 were intended to weave around the steep Manetto Hills area of the main road, rather than running parallel to the road as it does today. The land between the service road and the main road was reserved for housing developments. The right-of-way for the original westbound service road still weaves through the development on the north side of the road.[16] Exit 49 was originally a cloverleaf interchange with the outer-ramps connecting to the service roads nearer to NY 110. This was in preparation for NY 110's formerly proposed upgrade into the Broad Hollow Expressway. After the project was canceled in the 1970s, the west-to-northbound on-ramp was moved to nearby Suffolk CR 3 (Pinelawn Road) and the original ramp was replaced with a Park & Ride. Other outer-ramps were eventually moved further away from NY 110.

Exit 52 (Commack Road/Suffolk CR 4), was intended to be moved west to an interchange with the formerly proposed Babylon-Northport Expressway (realigned NY 231) in the vicinity of the two parking areas. These ramps were supposed to be accessible from the service roads. The westbound off-ramp and service road at Exit 54 (Wicks Road/Suffolk CR 4) originally terminated at Long Island Motor Parkway east of Wicks Road. The westbound on-ramp was squeezed between the northwest corner of the Wicks road bridge and Exit 53. Excessive weaving between Exits 52, 53, and 54 caused the NYSDOT to reconstruct all three interchanges into one, and replace the west-to-southbound off-ramp to Sagtikos State Parkway with a flyover ramp.[17] Exit 55A was meant to be a trumpet interchange for the Hauppauge Spur of NY 347, between Long Island Motor Parkway(Exit 55) and NY 111(Exit 56). The service roads were supposed to go around the interchange, rather than run parallel to the main road. Ramps on the east side of Motor Parkway and west side of NY 111 were to be eliminated.Between Exits 57 and 58, there was a proposed extension of Northern State Parkway.[18][19]

Prior to the construction of the interchange with Nicolls Road (Suffolk CR 97), Exit 62 was for Morris Avenue and Waverly Avenue eastbound, and Morris Avenue westbound.[20][21] Between Exits 63 and 64 the eastbound service road was supposed to weave around a recharge basin and replace a local residential street. Residents would have lived on both sides of the service road, similar to the segment between Exits 59 and 60.[22]

Exit 68 was originally planned to be built as a cloverleaf interchange without collective-distributor roads.[23] Additionally in the 1970s, Suffolk County Department of Public Works was proposing an extension of East Main Street in Yaphank (Suffolk CR 102), that would have terminated at the west end of this interchange.[24]

In the 1960s and 1970s Suffolk County Planning Department was considering an extension of Suffolk CR 55 to the Grumman Calverton Naval Air Base between Exits 70 & 71. This would have provided an additional interchange known as Exit 70A. Exit 71 itself was intended to be a cloverleaf interchange with Nugent Drive, and an additional Hamptons Spur of the Long Island Expressway.[25] After the cancellation of this proposal it was merely proposed to be a complete diamond interchange.

An earlier usage of NY 495 was the Long Island Expressway heading east from the Clearview Expressway, which is currently Interstate 295. In the 1980s, the NY 495 signs were taken down and Interstate 495 was extended to the eastern end of the Long Island Expressway.

Exit list

County Location Mile[1] # Destinations Notes
New York New York City 0.00 37th-40th Streets Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
0.00 34th Street (NY 495 west), 35th Street - Midtown Manhattan Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
1.01 Queens-Midtown Tunnel under the East River- Toll: $5.50[26] charged in both directions
1.43 13 Borden Avenue - Pulaski Bridge No westbound exit
1.53 14 NY 25A east (21st Street) – Long Island City Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
2.09 15 Van Dam Street No eastbound exit
2.34 16 Hunters Point Avenue, Greenpoint Avenue Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
2.61 17W I-278 west (Brooklyn-Queens Expressway) – Brooklyn, Staten Island
2.61 17E I-278 east (Brooklyn-Queens Expressway) – La Guardia Airport, Bronx Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
3.47 18 Maurice Avenue Eastbound exit is part of exit 17
5.27 19 NY 25 (Queens Boulevard) / Woodhaven Boulevard
5.58 20 Junction Boulevard Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
6.91 21 108th Street Westbound exit is part of exit 22A
7.25 22A Grand Central ParkwayRobert F. Kennedy Bridge, John F. Kennedy International Airport
7.35 22B I-678 (Van Wyck Expressway) / College Point Boulevard – Whitestone Bridge, Kennedy Airport
8.45 23 Main Street
9.10 24 Kissena Boulevard
10.02 25 Utopia Parkway, 164th Street, 188th Street
11.04 26 Francis Lewis Boulevard Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
11.43 27 I-295 (Clearview Expressway) to Grand Central Parkway / NY 25Bronx Signed as exits 27S (south) and 27N (north)
11.93 28 Oceania Street, Francis Lewis Boulevard Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
12.31 29 Springfield Boulevard
12.91 30 East Hampton Boulevard, Douglaston Parkway Eastbound exit only
13.27 31S Cross Island Parkway south – Kennedy Airport
13.27 31N Cross Island Parkway north – Whitestone Bridge Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
14.25 32 Little Neck Parkway
Nassau Lake Success 15.43 33 Lakeville Road, Community Drive - Great Neck Western terminus of HOV lanes
North Hills 16.37 34 New Hyde Park Road
17.57 35 To Northern Parkway / Shelter Rock Road – Manhasset Westbound exit is via exit 36
18.43 36 Searingtown Road - Port Washington
North Hempstead 18.95 37 Willis Avenue - Mineola, Roslyn
East Hills 20.14 38 Northern Parkway east – Hauppauge Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
Old Westbury 20.31 39 Glen Cove Road - Hempstead, Glen Cove
Jericho 24.07 40 NY 25Mineola, Syosset Signed as exits 40W (west) and 40E (east)
25.23 41 NY 106 / NY 107Hicksville, Oyster Bay Signed as exits 41S (south) and 41N (north)
26.05 42 Northern Parkway west – New York Westbound exit only
42 Northern Parkway east – Hauppauge Eastbound exit only
Syosset 43A Robbins Lane Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
27.07 43 South Oyster Bay Road - Bethpage, Syosset
27.83 44 NY 135Seaford, Syosset Signed as exits 44S (south) and 44N (north) eastbound
Plainview 28.17 45 Manetto Hill Road - Plainview, Woodbury Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
28.95 46 Sunnyside Boulevard - Plainview Exit 46 also provides an unnumbered exit to Washington Ave in Plainview that is only marked on the expressway service road.
29.65 Truck inspection station (no exit) Eastbound trucks only (when traffic light flashes)
29.68 48 Round Swamp Road - Old Bethpage, Farmingdale
Suffolk Huntington
31.82 49 NY 110Amityville, Huntington Signed as exits 49S (south) and 49N (north)
34.25 50 Bagatelle Road - Dix Hills, Wyandanch
35.87 51 NY 231 to Northern ParkwayBabylon, Northport
38.56 52 CR 4 (Commack Road) – North Babylon, Commack Westbound exit is part of exit 53
39.28 53 Sagtikos ParkwayBay Shore, Sunken Meadow Park
39.90 Wicks Road (CR 7) Part of exit 53
41.72 55 CR 67 (Motor Parkway) – Central Islip
42.66 56 NY 111Islip, Smithtown
Islandia 44.30 57 NY 454 (Veterans Highway) – Patchogue, Commack
45.64 58 Old Nichols Road - Central Islip, Nesconset
Islip 47.50 59 CR 93 (Ocean Avenue) – Oakdale, Ronkonkoma
Brookhaven 48.19 60 Ronkonkoma Avenue - Lake Ronkonkoma, Sayville Former CR 29
49.62 61 CR 19 (Patchogue-Holbrook Road) – Patchogue, Holbrook
51.24 62 CR 97 (Nicolls Road) – Stony Brook, Blue Point
53.04 63 CR 83 (North Ocean Avenue) – Mount Sinai, Patchogue
54.29 64 NY 112Patchogue, Port Jefferson Eastern terminus of HOV lanes, streetlights are not used past this exit going eastbound
55.44 65 CR 16 (Horse Block Road) – Centereach, Shirley
57.41 66 CR 101 (Sills Road) – East Patchogue, Yaphank
58.55 67 CR 21 (Yaphank Avenue) – Yaphank, Brookhaven
60.17 68 CR 46 (William Floyd Parkway) – Wading River, Shirley
64.05 69 Wading River Road - Wading River, Center Moriches Former CR 25
65.25 70 CR 111Eastport, Manorville
69.27 71 NY 24Hampton Bays, Calverton Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
Riverhead 70.75 72 NY 25Riverhead, Calverton Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
71.02 73 CR 58 (Old Country Road) – Greenport, Orient Eastbound exit and westbound entrance

NY 495

Mile Destinations Notes
0.0 Lincoln Tunnel under the Hudson River
39th Street Westbound exit and entrance
NY 9A / 42nd StreetUptown Manhattan, Theater District Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
36th Street Intersection (eastbound only)
30th-31st Streets (Lincoln Tunnel Expressway) Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
35th Street Intersection
1.1 To I-495 east / 34th StreetDowntown Manhattan, Madison Square Garden Intersection

See also


  • Old Hagstroms Maps and Road Atlases
  1. ^ a b "2008 Traffic Volume Report for New York State" (PDF). New York State Department of Transportation. June 16, 2009. pp. 239–241. Retrieved January 31, 2010. 
  2. ^ New York Routes - Interstate 495
  3. ^ Long Island Expressway retrieved on July 9, 2009
  4. ^ Anderson, Steve. "Eastern Long Island Sound Crossings". NYCRoads. Retrieved March 18, 2010. 
  5. ^ Long Island Transportation Management, Inc. - HOV Lane Information
  6. ^ [Hagstrom's Atlas of Suffolk County, New York (1969, 1973, and other dates)]
  7. ^ Anderson, Steve. "Long Island Expressway". NYCRoads. Retrieved March 18, 2010. 
  8. ^ LIE Cross Island Pkwy 2001 Reconstruction (Jeff Saltzman)
  9. ^ Anderson, Steve. "Wantagh State Parkway". NYCRoads. Retrieved March 18, 2010. 
  10. ^ Long Island Expressway near proposed Wantagh Parkway Extension (WikiMapia)
  11. ^ Long Island Expressway & Jericho Turnpike Interchange (WikiMapia)
  12. ^ Hagstrom's Map of Nassau County, Long Island, New York (1940)
  13. ^ Long Island Expressway and Sunnyside Boulevard (Original Exit 46)
  14. ^ Map of the NY 135/LIE Interchange project (Long Island Website)
  15. ^ Long Island Expressway at the vicinity of formerly proposed Bethpage State Parkway Interchange (WikiMapia)
  16. ^ [Hagstrom's Atlas of Suffolk County, New York (1969, and other dates)]
  17. ^ Unsnarling a Dangerous Interchange; Remedies eyed for Commack troublespot, by Stuart Vincent (Newsday) March 30, 1988
  18. ^ Anderson, Steve. "Northern State Parkway". NYCRoads. Retrieved March 18, 2010. 
  19. ^ Suffolk County Department of Public Works. Map of proposed interchange [map]. (1963)
  20. ^ [Aerial Photo by Lockwood, Kessler & Bartlett, Incorporated Consulting Engineers of Syosset, New York (Pre-1971 Nicoll's Road)]
  21. ^ [Frank J. Mooney 1971-72 Street Map of Lake Ronkonkoma, Holbrook, Farmingville, and Vicinity]
  22. ^ [1975 NYSDOT Map(but other evidence exists)]
  23. ^ Image:William Floyd Pkwy(Old Proposal).JPG
  24. ^ Suffolk County Department of Public Works
  25. ^ Image:Alternate LIE @ Exits 70A & 71.jpg
  26. ^ Bridges and Tunnels: Toll Information (

External links


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