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. The tunnel is tolled in the eastbound direction at a rate varying between EZPass/Cash drivers and Peak/NonPeak hours during weekdays. Cash toll rates increased to $6.50 for all passenger vehicles on December 30, 2010.

Unconstructed Interstate 78

Planning for Interstate 78 originally took the highway through Brooklyn and Queens to Interstate 95 in the east Bronx. East from the Holland Tunnel, unconstructed Interstate 78 was to utilize 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, Interstate 478, would join the Lower-Manhattan Expressway with Interstate 278 (Brooklyn-Queens Expressway) via the Manhattan Bridge while Interstate 78 would follow the Williamsburg Bridge into Brooklyn.

Once in Brooklyn, unconstructed Interstate 78 turns southeast along the Bushwick Expressway through the Bushwick community of the borough. Portions of the right of way were cleared along Conduit Avenue from Atlantic Avenue east to the Nassau Expressway and Belt Parkway. The Bushwick Expressway would transition into the Nassau Expressway at the Belt Parkway and carry Interstate 78 east to the southern extension of the unconstructed 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, unconstructed Interstate 78 would turn north from Rockaway Boulevard on the Clearview Expressway. The Clearview Expressway was never built between Laurelton in southeast Queens to Queens Village and Hillside Avenue (New York 25). A symmetrical stack interchange with the Grand Central Parkway was constructed under the premise that Interstate 78 would bring traffic in from southeast Queens. However the Clearview Expressway peters out at a traffic light with New York 25 and 212th Street. Interstate 295 follows the Clearview Expressway northward from the GCP to the Throgs Neck Bridge and the split with the Cross-Bronx and Throgs Neck Expressways. Interstate 78 partitioned there into spurs on both expressways to their respective merges with Interstate 95 (Bruckner Expressway). Today those routes are signed as Intestate 295 and 695 respectively.

Interstate 78 signs were posted along the Nassau Expressway in 1971 for a short time. In addition the Clearview Expressway (Interstate 295) carried Interstate 78 signage 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
A variable message overhead is posted to advise motorists of potential delays or congestion due to construction, accidents, or stalled vehicles. Photo taken 07/27/07.
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Eastbound views within the south tube of Holland Tunnel. The narrow roadway features no shoulders and a small pathway for maintenance personal on the left. Photos taken 07/27/07.
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Interstate 78 eastbound ascends from the Holland Tunnel underneath Hudson Street in lower Manhattan. A sign bridge posted at the exit featured guide signs for Exit 1 - New York 9A (West Street) and Exit 2 - Uptown (Hudson Street); those were removed in favor of a dynamic message board by 2007. Photo taken 08/12/04. Second photo taken 07/27/07.
Traffic to New York 9A (West Street) departs Interstate 78 and the Holland Tunnel via Laight Street westbound. New York 9A follows the Hudson River along West Street, six-lane surface boulevard, between the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and Hells Kitchen. The roadway features bicycle and walking paths along the southbound roadway. Photo taken 08/12/04.
New overheads installed by 2007 add Hudson Street to the Exit 2 overhead for Uptown and replace the Canal Street (Exit 5) with Brooklyn (Exit 3).
A pedestrian bridge spans the Holland Tunnel exit at St. Johns Park in the background. Photo taken 07/27/07.
A ground level sign was added for Exit 5, advising motorists to keep left for the final Interstate 78 ramp. Photo taken 07/27/07.
Interstate 78 traffic loops out of the Holland Tunnel in the block of Hudson, Laight and Varick Streets and Ericsson Place. Each signed Exit refers to turn-offs from the rotary onto respective surface streets. Pictured here is the Laight Street turn-off for New York 9A as the Holland Tunnel access road loops southwestward. Photo taken 07/27/07.
Next in line is the Uptown turn-off (Exit 2) for the ramp to 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 carries Interstate 78 eastbound drivers from the Holland Tunnel to Beach Street eastbound. Drivers taking the off-ramp can either remain on Beach Street to West Broadway at Avenue of the Americas or turn southeast along Walker Street toward the Manhattan Bridge into Brooklyn. Photo taken 07/27/07.
Exit 4 dumps traffic onto Varick Street southbound to downtown Manhattan. Varick Street flows south from 7th Avenue at Greenwich Village to West Broadway in four blocks. West Broadway continues the drive to the World Trade Center site. Photo taken 07/27/07.
The Interstate 78 eastbound partition between Exit 4 (Downtown) and Exit 5 (Canal Street north). Two lanes turn onto Varrick Street southbound as remaining defaults onto Laight Street east to Canal Street east. Photo taken 07/27/07.
Taking Exit 5 to the signalized intersection of Laight Street east at Varick Street south. Laight Street ends at Canal Street in one block.
Canal Street angles southeast from New York 9A (West Street) to Chinatown, Bowery and the Manhattan Bridge approach. Access to Canal Street westbound from Interstate 78 requires motorists to use Exit 1 onto Hudson Street northbound. Photo taken 07/27/07.

  1. Holland Tunnel (I-78) @
  2. Clearview Expressway (I-295) @

Photo Credits:

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

Page Updated 02-15-2012.