New York Roads - I-95/US 1/9 - Trans-Manhattan Expwy.
, I-95/US 1/US 9: Trans-Manhattan Expressway
And George Washington Bridge! (From the Riverside Drive ramp to 178th St.)
Crossing the bridge southward to the NJ border.
This is the advance BGS for Exit 1 (was 1A) on the lower level of the George Washington Bridge, cut to fit traffic. Those arrows are bent about as sharply as the actual mainline, which must duck quickly out from the lower level to run alongside the upper through the TME. By the way, US 9 NB exits here, not that you'd know it from the lower level.
A plethora of bridge views from the Hudson River Greenway, including the Little Red Lighthouse that famously sits by the eastern abutment. The bridge-dwarfing "The Modern" tower is taking shape in Fort Lee, on its way to a modest 496 feet.
The first BGS is on that lower level exit, and if you take the ramp from either level and head toward NY 9A NB, they merge and you come to Riverside Drive, a traffic light, and the second BGS. These both are Port Authority originals from WAY back in the day. Look below at the old 95/1/9A assembly, and those are from the same era. I'm guessing '50's or '60's. To view the first sign larger courtesy John Krakoff or to unblur the second sign thanks to HNTB Corporation, you can just click on either one.
Courtesy HNTB Corp., these are the new signs where the upper and lower levels' ramps come side-by-side to mix 'n' match; the old ones looked like the second photo, courtesy John Krakoff. I'd rather have button-copy trapezoids than tiny numerals and black square borders. You can turn back the clock on the first assembly, also courtesy HNTB, just by clicking on that photo. Mmm mmm good.
Next time you cross the George Washington Bridge, take the first exit and head down to the Henry Hudson Parkway. Totally worth it. If you live in NY and can't conscion paying $13 for a trio of signs, take the SB exit and be prepared for a wild merge across four lanes in 50 feet that you're not supposed to execute. For those of you who just must have high-resolution button copy photos, that being all of you dear readers, click on either side of the third photo for closeups.
Courtesy John Krakoff, these SB Exit 1A ramp signs are gone now. The word "Bridge" has been removed from the Pkwy. NB signs, perhaps because traffic just had its chance to get on the Bridge, although it's entirely possible there was once a traffic configuration that didn't let local traffic use the entrance when these signs were somewhat newer. The other thing covered is old NB shields like the one for 9A SB, now covered by droopy, non-button copy monstrosities.
The new SB ramp signs as of 2011. How tragically awful, these square BGS's and shields, and fat arrows, and misplaced 181 St. I'd cover it up with something prettier too. How did 181st St. go from an integral destination to an afterthought?
In this SB progression you see the Hamilton Bridge advance warning for Exit 1A (the merging traffic is from the Harlem River Drive) and old photos of Port Authority signage courtesy John Krakoff. Recently, the Port Authority of NY and NJ took down all the old signs on both sides of the river - for all crossings. Very few remain, and they tend to be on surface streets. Click on the first photo to see it in daylight with a recognizable NY 9A shield, courtesy Mike Byrnes.
I'm very curious as to why the old signs mention the George Washington Bridge (no relation to the Washington) as having US 1 but not US 9, especially considering 9 always used the bridge whereas 1 started off in the Holland Tunnel. Oh, and "Bridge" and "Parkway" are very cute destinations.
The surface detour for the bridge entrance takes traffic along 179th St. or 181st St. EB (first photo is the latter) to Amsterdam Ave. NB and then to the Exit 1B onramp at the Harlem River Drive. Bubble shields are bad enough, but this is a two-digit route.
Somewhere up above the TME (first two photos are in the same location) and the former Riverside Drive SB sign around 170th St. The green signs are both courtesy John Krakoff and the original white sign is courtesy HNTB Corp. I don't think that the first two photos' assembly is still around, but if it is, it's better that I don't spread the exact location, because it may be/have been the last 1950's expressway sign left.
SB entering the apartments (i.e. at the beginning of the TME), courtesy HNTB Corp., apparently taken during sign testing.
The Exit 1B ramp (NB only) to Harlem River Drive is fraught with mystery. The Amsterdam Ave./Washington Bridge split from the ramp feeds into the old exit from the 178th St. tunnel. The still intact two-lane tunnel carried all of the eastbound traffic from the George Washington Bridge that didn't exit to NY 9A or US 9/Broadway, and you can still see the paved exit from the tunnel come right up to the guiderail on the modern exit. Continuing on the Harlem River Dr. split takes traffic past this stub merge, and only years later have I finally ascertained its purpose. Turns out this was the original connector from Harlem River Dr. up to the bridge. The 178th St. tunnel was the first one opened, and carried two-way traffic (one lane each way) from about 1940-1950 until the 179th St. tunnel opened to double its capacity. The connector ostensibly could have been kept for EB traffic, but there were several reroutes in the ramps for the interchange that resulted in a new roadway with a slightly smoother alignment. Purpose accomplished, cost probably not recouped, as much of the old connector as possible was removed, leaving just this stub end where it tied into the still-current structure.
Saving the best for last, but also the easternmost, here's the abandoned exit from the 178th St. tunnel, the original approach to the George Washington Bridge in 1940. It carried both directions of traffic under Manhattan until 1951 when the parallel 179th St. Tunnel opened, and then was replaced by the Trans-Manhattan Expwy. in 1962. It fed into the interchange that splits to Amsterdam Ave. and Harlem River Dr., with access from the former to Washington Bridge. That interchange was obviously a lot simpler without the Alexander Hamilton Bridge taking several freeway lanes east across the Harlem River.
View of the High Bridge Water Tower from there.
Continue north/east on I-95/US 1 to the Cross Bronx Expressway
Onto US 1 alone
Onto US 9 alone
Back to I-95 main page
Into New Jersey on I-95/US 1/9/46
Exit 1(A) to NY 9A
Exit 1(A) to Riverside Dr.
Exit 1B to Harlem River Drive
Exit 1C to I-87, the Major Deegan Expressway
The Trans-Manhattan Expressway and George Washington Bridge on Steve Anderson's nycroads.com
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