New York Roads - I-278 - Staten Island/Gowanus Expwys.

Staten Island and Gowanus Expressways

This ancient sign for the onramp to I-278 EB obviously dates from the beginning of the expressway. An I-278 shield never made it onto this sign, and the post holding it up is a design that hasn't been used in at least 50 years. Courtesy Doug Kerr.

Onramp from Goethals Avenue just past Forest Avenue, courtesy Scott Colbert. Goethals Avenue is what was replaced by I-278 (and became frontage roads), leading to the namesake bridge. Bridge photos are on the NJ page, linked at bottom.

The onramps from Clove Rd. at Exit 13 and Slosson Ave. at Exit 12, and the old bridge sign if you don't get on the highway. Since the Verrazano is the eastern Staten Island bridge, this sign must be directing traffic across the highway to the EB frontage road.

At the bottom of the EB Exit 12 ramp.

A lot happens between Exits 13 and 12, and it's all related to the aborted continuation of Richmond Parkway. Besides this paved wye interchange, the only traces are forested right-of-way all the way back to Richmond Ave. The first photo is the NB-EB ramp, the next two are the WB-SB ramp, and then you see the WB-SB ramp crossing under the NB-WB ramp. (All of these ramps are abandoned, because there's nothing to connect to.) Then comes a closeup of the gate at the end of the WB-SB ramp bridge to prevent miscreants from taking materials such as valuable guiderail or defacing the bridge with graffiti. On the other side of the interchange, you have the NB-WB ramp flying over the active Exit 12 ramp and then merging in.

Now eastbound through the ghost interchange at Exit 13. The first three photos would have been the EB-SB ramp, the fourth photo is another perspective of the overpasses crossing, and the last photo is where the NB-EB ramp would have merged with little distance before the next exit. Even though the proposed wye was shoehorned in between exits barely a mile apart, the only ramps that would have been braided were the NB-WB ghost and WB Exit 12, leaving very short weaves to and from the other three ghost ramps. To see a perspective from the abandoned ramps, click through at the bottom of the page.

The minimalist approach? Lincoln Ave. southwest from Lily Pond Rd., courtesy Scott Colbert.

The entrances from Clove Rd. (Exit 13) and from Fingerboard Rd. and Hylan Blvd. (Exit 14, now gone), second photo courtesy Scott Colbert.

Why is that button copy now gone? Because of ramp reconstruction to turn a mainline EB weave between Exits 14 and 15 into a braided on/off pair. The future Exit 14 onramp flies over the future Exit 15 onramp in these photos, taken from Narrows Road South.

At the top of WB Exit 14, fresh out of the toll plaza, looking totally unassuming without a much closer look. Hylan Blvd. was once on the sign, and I presume the brighter green patch covers a straight arrow. Making a right here gets to Bay St. sooner, but Fingerboard Rd. is a lot narrower than Hylan Blvd. and not really suited for trucks.

6th Ave. NB and SB at I-278 Exit 20, skipping over the Verrazano Bridge (now on its own page) and heading into Brooklyn. The new signs should be white on blue, and the old signs should be replaced. Click on the first photo for a close-up of the state-name shield.

Bonus underneath I-278, 6th Ave. SB at 65th St. The signal on the right is the reverse of the one on the left and all other proper horizontal signals, wreaking havoc with the color-blind.

WB (SB) on the Gowanus, second photo courtesy Doug Kerr.

Again, this isn't the BQE at all. The Gowanus Expressway extends from the Verrazano Narrows Bridge to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel (secret I-478), but for continuity's sake it's signed as part of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to the east. The Gowanus was there first, so this is of course unfair.

The last EB Gowanus button copy is now at Exit 21 and Exit 25 (and not for the exit signs), and there's nothing good between. The NY 27 shield is particularly inexplicable, as if the hump atop the shield is really a wave that has now broken for shore.

The first sight of the Verrazano Bridge from I-278 WB, way back on the Gowanus near Exit 23.

I suppose I've already seen worse on this page than this WB construction shield (the split is temporary), but I can still complain.

Hamilton Ave. EB under the Gowanus Expressway SB and I-278 WB - this is what it takes to snake a freeway through established neighborhoods in America's largest city. What you learn from being under here is that the highway was originally just four lanes wide, later extended outward to the current seven lanes (center one is reversible). What you have to infer based on the style of the supports (difficult) and stonework at the piers (marginally easier) is that the original elevated highway was the Gowanus Parkway, not Expressway, limited to cars only. The Gowanus started life as the western piece of the Belt Parkway, but was absorbed into I-278 rather than creating a parallel expressway. That's surprising, given Robert Moses' penchant for preserving parkways and establishing right-of-way wherever he wanted.

Hamilton Ave. ends at 3rd Ave. by the Prospect Expwy. (NY 27) interchange, and 3rd Ave. continues alongside and under the Gowanus as it heads south toward Staten Island. Photos end where 3rd Ave. emerges at the Belt Parkway split.

Onto the Verrazano Narrows Bridge
Into the abandoned Richmond Parkway/I-278 interchange
East to the Brooklyn-Queens Expwy.
Drive the eastbound Verrazano (upper level)
Back to I-278 main page

Follow I-278 into NJ
Staten Island
and Gowanus Expressways on Steve Anderson's
Exit 24 to NY 27
See more of Staten Island
Back to New York Roads
Back to Roads