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Interstate 678 shield
Interstate 678
Auxiliary route of the Interstate Highway System
Maintained by NYSDOT

Map of the New York City area with I-678 highlighted in red
Length: 14.33 mi[1] (23.06 km)
Formed: 1971
South end: JFK Int'l Airport in Queens
Major
junctions:
NY 878
Belt Parkway
Grand Central Parkway and
Jackie Robinson Parkway
I-495
Cross Island Parkway
North end: Bruckner Interchange in the Bronx
Numbered highways in New York
< NY 635 I-684 >
InterstateU.S.N.Y. (former) – Reference

Interstate 678 (abbreviated I-678) is a north–south spur route in the Interstate Highway System that runs 14 miles (23 km) entirely within two boroughs of New York City: Queens and the Bronx.

Interstate 678 is more commonly referred to by New Yorkers as the Van Wyck Expressway (or just "the Van Wyck", properly pronounced "Van Wike", not "Van Wick"[2]), and is named for Robert A. Van Wyck, the first mayor of New York City after the five boroughs were combined into one city, from 1898-1901. The Van Wyck Expressway is the roadway's locally-designated name for most of its route. Interstate 678 runs from a southern terminus at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and continues north across the Bronx Whitestone Bridge to a northern terminus at the Bruckner Interchange in the Bronx, which connects I-678 to Interstate 95 and Interstate 278. Interstate 678 also interchanges with Interstate 495, the Long Island Expressway.

North of Northern Boulevard (Exit 13) in northern Queens, Interstate 678 is designated as the Whitestone Expressway. This section of I-678 has its origins in the Whitestone Parkway, which was built at the same time as the Bronx Whitestone Bridge so as to service it. North of the Bronx Whitestone Bridge, it follows a section of what was once the Hutchinson River Parkway within the Bronx. Both of these sections were converted to Interstate Highway standards in the early 1960s to allow for commercial traffic, and granted their joint Interstate designation upon completion. The Van Wyck Expressway was soon linked to the Whitestone, and this section became part of I-678 in 1971 after the planned Astoria Expressway was canceled. Although I-678 ends northbound at the Bruckner Interchange, the highway itself continues beyond the interchange as the Hutchinson River Parkway through Westchester County to the Connecticut state line, though commercial traffic is not permitted beyond that point.

Interstate 678 is known for its frequent traffic jams, particularly at the Kew Gardens Interchange, where it connects with two other major highway arteries: the Grand Central Parkway and Jackie Robinson Parkway; as well as two local commercial thoroughfares: Queens Boulevard (NY-25); and Union Turnpike.

Portions of the AirTrain run on elevated tracks above I-678 south of exit 5 (Atlantic Avenue). The AirTrain is a people mover system connecting JFK Airport to Jamaica Station, a major transfer point on the Long Island Rail Road with frequent rail connections to Manhattan.

Sign for I-678 at the Bruckner Interchange.

While designated as a three-digit interstate spur route, I-678 never intersects with its ostensible "parent" interstate, Interstate 78. Plans had existed to have Interstate 78 continue through New York City from its current terminus at the Holland Tunnel and along the (unbuilt) Lower Manhattan Expressway, over the Williamsburg Bridge, onto the Bushwick Expressway to the southern end of I-678 and continue up an extended Clearview Expressway.

The DOT is currently working on plans to extend the southbound Main Street entrance ramp as a fourth-lane that will also serve as an "Exit Only" lane for Exit 5- Atlantic Avenue. This will reduce traffic on both the Main Street entrance ramp and the expressway itself as current traffic has a very difficult time merging on the short entrance ramp.

Contents

Route description

Interstate 678 in Jamaica, Queens, seen from Long Island Rail Road train

Legally, most of I-678 is defined as part of Interstate Route Connector 515 in New York Highway Law § 340-a.

Exit 16, Flushing

History

The Whitestone Bridge opened on April 29, 1939, and at the same time the Whitestone Parkway, leading southwest off the bridge to Northern Boulevard (NY 25A), was opened to traffic. Work was rushed to serve the 1939 New York World's Fair, which first opened the following day.[3]

Exit list


Location Mile # Destinations Notes
Queens Terminals 5-6 Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Terminal 7 Southbound exit and northbound entrance
To Belt Parkway / JFK Expressway Northbound exit and southbound entrance; northbound traffic signal controls weaving with entrance from Terminal 4
Terminals 8-9 Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Terminal 4 Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Terminals 1-2-3 Southbound exit and northbound entrance
0.00 South end of I-678
Return to Terminals, Police Building 269, Long Term Parking, Port Authority Administration, General Aviation, Tow Pound, Terminals 8-9 Hourly Parking
All Cargo Areas, Long Term Parking, Rental Cars Southbound exit only
Federal Circle - Rental Car Returns, Long Term Parking, Cargo Areas
Airport Services Southbound exit only
Ramada Plaza Southbound exit and entrance
1 NY 878 east (Nassau Expressway) / Rockaway Boulevard east
2.00 1E-W Belt Parkway / NY 27Eastern Long Island, Brooklyn, Verrazano Bridge Signed as exits 1E (east) and 1W (west)
2.66 2 Rockaway Boulevard
3 Linden Boulevard
4 Liberty Avenue
4.37 5 Atlantic Avenue
4.76 6 Jamaica Avenue, Hillside Avenue
7 Jackie Robinson Parkway Southbound exit and northbound entrance
8 Main Street, Union Turnpike
5.34 9 NY 25 (Queens Boulevard) Southbound exit is via exit 8
5.87 10 Grand Central Parkway west – La Guardia Airport, Robert F. Kennedy Bridge Northbound exit and southbound entrance
6.78 11 69th Road, Jewel Avenue, Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Avenue - Flushing Meadows Corona Park
7.86 12 I-495 (Long Island Expressway) / College Point Boulevard – Eastern Long Island, Midtown Tunnel Signed as exits 12A (east) and 12B (west)
9.28 13A Astoria Boulevard
9.28 13B NY 25A east (Northern Boulevard) Northbound exit and southbound entrance
9.28 13C Grand Central ParkwayLa Guardia Airport, Robert F. Kennedy Bridge
9.28 13D NY 25A west (Northern Boulevard) - Citi Field
9.43 North end of Van Wyck Expressway; south end of Whitestone Expressway
14 Linden Place
15 20th Avenue
16 Cross Island Parkway south – Eastern Long Island
17 14th Avenue Southbound exit and northbound entrance
17 3rd Avenue Northbound exit only
12.45 Bronx Whitestone Bridge over the East River
Bronx
Local Streets - Ferry Point Park Southbound exit and northbound entrance
18 Lafayette Avenue Northbound exit and southbound entrance
19 I-95 (Cross Bronx Expressway) / I-278 west (Bruckner Expressway) - New England, George Washington Bridge, Robert F. Kennedy Bridge Northbound exit and southbound entrance
14.33 Hutchinson River Parkway Continuation beyond I-95/I-278

References

  1. ^ "Route Log and Finder List - Interstate System: Table 2". FHWA. http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/reports/routefinder/table2.cfm. Retrieved October 3, 2007. 
  2. ^ Paumgarten, Mick. "The Van Wyck Question", The New Yorker, June 11, 2001. Accessed September 12, 2008.
  3. ^ New York Times, Whitestone Span to Open Saturday, April 27, 1939, p. 23

External links

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