Interstate 478 constitutes the unsigned designation for the Hugh L. Carey (Brooklyn Battery) Tunnel and associated approaches between NY 9A (West Street) in Lower Manhattan and I-278 (Brooklyn Queens Expressway) at Red Hook in Brooklyn. Tolls are collected for twin two lane tubes electronically using E-ZPass transponders and toll by plate.

Two previous proposals for Interstate 478 included the Mid-Manhattan Bridge and Westway. The Mid-Manhattan Bridge alignment was to join the proposed Lower Manhattan Expressway (I-78) with the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (I-278). This 1958 proposal was withdrawn when I-78 through Manhattan was cancelled in 1971.

The 1971 Westway proposal was advocated for the replacement of the ailing West Side Highway (NY 9A) as a new freeway leading north from the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the Lincoln Tunnel (NY 495). This was never constructed and West Street instead was built as a six-lane surface boulevard.

I-478 - Manhattan, NY - 1973

The Westway proposal for Interstate 478 in 1973.

Interstate 478 North
Hamilton Avenue northbound provides the final leg in the connection to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel for motorists on I-278 (Brooklyn Queens Expressway) west. There is no direct access from the BQE west to I-478 north.
Hamilton Avenue meets Hicks Street, the eastbound side frontage street to the BQE, in this scene. 07/27/07
Hicks Street south ties into the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel on-ramp from Hamilton Avenue northbound. The ramp occasionally partitions into two lanes, with trucks and vans separated from passenger cars. 07/27/07
Interstate 478 lowers into the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel beyond the toll collection point, where ramps from Hamilton Avenue and I-278 (BQE) eastbound combine. 07/27/07
Single lane traffic enters the northbound tube. During construction or maintenance projects, traffic can be reduced to one lane per direction in either tunnel. 07/27/07
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Passing is not allowed within the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and speed limits are set at 40 miles per hour. Opened in 1950, the tunnel passes under Buttermilk Channel / East River between South Brooklyn and Battery Park at a length of 9,117 feet. 07/27/07
Emerging from the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel, Interstate 478 remains separated on the approach to NY 9A (West Street) north and Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) Drive north. An turn off departs from the right for Trinity Place as well. 07/27/07
NY 9A and FDR begin and radiate outward from the Battery Tunnel north end along the periphery of Manhattan Island. West Street leads north by the World Trade Center site toward Greenwich Village. FDR Drive comprises a freeway along the west banks of the East River to the United Nations and Harlem. 07/27/07
The Battery Parking Garage rises between the split of ramps to NY 9A and Trinity Place. The Trinity Place ramp is closed during the morning and peak hours of traffic weekdays. 07/27/07
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Ramps to West Street and FDR Drive pass under a wing of the Battery Parking Garage as Washington Street enters from the north. 07/27/07
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NY 9A travels northward 11 miles to the George Washington Bridge and 47.25 miles overall to Peekskill. Restricted to cars only, FDR Drive travels 9.44 miles north from a tunnel below Battery Park to Harlem River Drive at the Triborough (RFK) Bridge. 07/27/07
Interstate 478 South
NY 9A (West Street) south at Liberty Street and the split with the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel southbound approach. West Street partitions ahead with a tunnel for Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) Drive northbound and NY 9A to Battery Park. The Exit numbering convention of West Street remains from the former West Side Highway elevated viaduct..
The sign bridge pictured here was replaced with a new assembly by 2011. 08/09/04
Exit 2 to I-478 descends from NY 9A into a short tunnel underneath West Street northbound. 08/09/04
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Opened in 1950, the nearly two mile long Hugh L. Carey (Brooklyn Battery) Tunnel descends beneath Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan Island. The twin tubes continue below the East River, Governors Island, and Upper New York Bay before ascending to Brooklyn at Red Hook. 08/09/04
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Traveling south through the tunnel. Similar to the Lincoln (NY 495) and Holland (I-78) Tunnels to the north, there are no shoulders within the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel and passing is restricted. 08/09/04
Interstate 478 concludes with ramps separating for I-278 (Brooklyn Queens Expressway) east, I-278 west (Gowanus Expressway) to the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge, and adjacent Hamilton Avenue at Red Hook. 08/09/04
The ramp for the BQE east passed through a tunnel beyond this button copy overhead. I-278 heads north to Atlantic Avenue at Brooklyn Heights. 08/09/04

Photo Credits:

    08/09/04 by AARoads and Carter Buchanan. 07/27/07 by AARoads.

Connect with:
Interstate 278

Page Updated 03-07-2020.

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