Interstate 78

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Interstate 78 crosses the Hudson River through the Holland Tunnel from Jersey City, New Jersey into Manhattan, New York. Tolls are collected for the Holland Tunnel eastbound, with E-ZPass rates varying between peak and off-peak hours. Cash tolls increased to $16.00 on January 5, 2020. The rate for passenger vehicles was previously $6.50, set on December 30, 2010.

Unconstructed Interstate 78

Planning for Interstate 78 originally took the highway through Brooklyn and Queens to I-95 in the east Bronx. East from the Holland Tunnel, the proposed alignment followed the Lower-Manhattan Expressway. The Lower-Manhattan Expressway would compliment the Mid-Manhattan Expressway (Interstate 495), by providing seamless routes across Manhattan Island between the Hudson and East Rivers. A short connector, I-478, would join the Lower-Manhattan Expressway with I-278 (Brooklyn-Queens Expressway) via the Manhattan Bridge while Interstate 78 would follow the Williamsburg Bridge into Brooklyn.

Lower Manhattan, NY - 1968

The proposed Lower-Manhattan Expressway and the connection for Interstate 478 with the Manhattan Bridge in 1968.

Once in Brooklyn, Interstate 78 was proposed southeast along the Bushwick Expressway through the Bushwick community of the borough. Right of way was acquired for the expressway along Conduit Avenue, from Atlantic Avenue east to the Nassau Expressway. The Bushwick Expressway would transition into the Nassau Expressway at the Belt Parkway, which would lead I-78 east to the planned southern extension of the Clearview Expressway. What was built of the Nassau Expressway exists wholly underneath Cross Bay Boulevard, and partially (eastbound only) from the Belt Parkway (Exit 19) to the Van Wyck Expressway (Interstate 678). Unsigned Interstate 878 overlays the dual roadway portion of the Nassau Expressway from I-678 to the freeway end at Hangar Road.

East of JFK International Airport / Hangar Road, the planned route of Interstate 78 turned north from Rockaway Boulevard onto the Clearview Expressway. The Clearview Expressway was never built from Laurelton in southeast Queens to Queens Village and Hillside Avenue (NY 25). A symmetrical stack interchange with the Grand Central Parkway was constructed under the premise that Interstate 78 tie in from southeast Queens. However the Clearview Expressway never extended south of the traffic light with NY 25 and 212th Street. Interstate 295 follows the Clearview Expressway northward from Grand Central Parkway to the Throgs Neck Bridge. North of the suspension bridge, I-78 partitioned with a spur route along the Throgs Neck Expressway while connecting with I-95 (Bruckner Expressway), I-278 and Hutchinson River Parkway at the Bruckner Interchange. The Throgs Neck Expressway was eventually renumbered as I-695, while I-295 overtook the I-78 leg along the Cross Bronx Expressway.

Interstate 78 signs were posted along the Nassau Expressway in 1971 for a short time. Additionally the Clearview Expressway was designated as I-78 between 1958 and 1971.2

Interstate 72 East
Opened in 19271, the Holland Tunnel carries four lanes of travel underneath the Hudson River. Officially designated a part of Interstate 78, the tunnel system links Jersey City, New Jersey with New York City. Photo taken 07/27/07.
The eastbound portal to the Holland Tunnel of Interstate 78. Passing is prohibited through the 8,371 foot eastbound tube.1
Variable message signs advise motorists of potential delays or congestion due to construction, accidents or stalled vehicles. Photo taken 07/27/07.
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Eastbound through the south tube of the Holland Tunnel. There are no shoulders. Photos taken 07/27/07.
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Interstate 78 ascends from the Holland Tunnel below Hudson Street in lower Manhattan. A sign bridge at the exit previously referenced Exit 1 for NY 9A (West Street) and Exit 2 - Uptown (Hudson Street). Those overheads were replaced with a dynamic message board by 2007. Photo taken 08/12/04. Second photo taken 07/27/07.
Traffic to NY 9A (West Street) departs I-78 and the Holland Tunnel via Laight Street westbound. NY 9A follows the Hudson River along West Street, six lane urban boulevard, between the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel and Hells Kitchen. Photo taken 08/12/04.
Overheads installed by 2007 added Hudson Street for Exit 2 to Uptown and replaced Canal Street (Exit 5) with Brooklyn (Exit 3). A pedestrian bridge spans the roadway at St. Johns Park. Photo taken 07/27/07.
A ground level sign for Exit 5 advises motorists to keep left for the final Interstate 78 ramp. Photo taken 07/27/07.
Traffic loops out of the Holland Tunnel within the block bound by Hudson, Laight and Varick Streets and Ericsson Place. Exits are turn-offs onto respective surface streets. Pictured here is the Laight Street ramp for NY 9A from the Holland Tunnel access road southwest. Photo taken 07/27/07.
Exit 2 follows for Uptown via Beach Street west and Hudson Street north. Hudson Street flows north from Reade Street near Broadway to Greenwich Village and Bleecker Street at 8th Avenue. Photo taken 08/12/04.
Exit 3 links I-78 from the Holland Tunnel with Ericsson Place to Beach Street east. Beach Street leads to Walker Street toward the Manhattan Bridge into Brooklyn. Photo taken 07/27/07.
Exit 4 connects with Varick Street to Downtown Manhattan. Varick Street flows south from 7th Avenue at Greenwich Village to West Broadway in four blocks. West Broadway extends southward to One World Trade Center. Photo taken 07/27/07.
Traffic partitions at the east end of I-78 with two lanes for Exit 4 and two for Laight Street east to Canal Street (Exit 5). Photo taken 07/27/07.
Exit 5 ties into Laight Street east at Varick Street, one block from Canal Street. Canal Street angles southeast from NY 9A (West Street) to Chinatown, Bowery and the Manhattan Bridge approach. Photo taken 07/27/07.
Conduit Avenue - Unconstructed Bushwick Expressway
N Conduit Avenue west after the split with NY 27 (Linden Boulevard). Photo taken 12/17/17.
N Conduit Avenue west at Sutter Avenue in Ozone Park, Queens. Photo taken 12/17/17.
The wide median originally reserved for construction of Bushwick Expressway (I-78) along Conduit Avenue extends northwest from Sutter Avenue to Liberty Avenue. Photo taken 12/17/17.
Sutter Avenue west at S Conduit Avenue. Conduit Avenue would have represented the service road system for the Bushwick Expressway (I-78). Photo taken 12/17/17.
S Conduit Avenue eastbound after Sutter Avenue. Photo taken 12/17/17.
A ramp connects S Conduit Avenue with NY 27 west along Linden Boulevard. Photo taken 12/17/17.
The overpass carrying NY 27 west from N Conduit Avenue to Linden Boulevard was constructed in 1950. Photo taken 12/17/17.
Eastbound NY 27 overtakes S Conduit Avenue south from Linden Boulevard to Nassau Expressway (NY 878). Photo taken 12/17/17.

Sources:
  1. Holland Tunnel (I-78). NYCRoads.com.
  2. Clearview Expressway (I-295). NYCRoads.com.


Photo Credits:

  • 08/12/04 by AARoads and Carter Buchanan.
  • 07/27/07 by AARoads.
  • 12/17/17 by AARoads.

Connect with:
Route 9A - West Street

Page Updated 03-03-2020.

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