New York Roads - Robert Moses State Pkwy. - Abandoned

Robert Moses State Parkway - Abandoned section

NY 384 connects Robert Moses State Parkway in Niagara Falls because the part closest to the Falls has been closed off and converted into more of Niagara Reservation State Park. The Parkway was mostly torn apart through the park in order to modernize and expand the park's facilities. North of the park, though, underneath the Rainbow Bridge and out to the Niagara Falls Discovery Center parking lot, the roadbed was left intact for official vehicle access. That also means it's open to the walking public (since while unofficial vehicles are disallowed, unofficial pedestrians walk free), so here's my tour.

Walking south from the Discovery Center to the State Park. The first photo is the trail from the parking lot, and the original junction of the NY 384 onramp with the southbound Parkway. Behind me, the original concrete highway heads slightly to the left until it meets the current alignment.

And the other direction, under the textured concrete Rainbow Bridge. The original vertical concrete barrier ends as the median slowly widens. You can trace that widening into the NB left-turn lane that still exists into the Discovery Center parking lot.

The Rainbow Bridge drops you straight into so much more excitement than New York. Hey, let's sneak across for the weekend!

The new bridge on top, and the remains of the old bridge below just to the south. The old bridge was the Honeymoon Bridge, the second bridge in this location. The first was the longest suspension bridge yet constructed, and the Honeymoon Bridge was the longest steel arch bridge yet constructed. It carried all sorts of traffic (it was intended for electric rail) until a tremendous amount of ice formed over the Niagara River in 1938, an "ice bridge" that moved like a glacier and brought the bridge down with it. Some of the Honeymoon Bridge is on the floor of the Niagara River.

Looking north beyond the bridge to the next set of bridges up the river, both railroad bridges. The one in the back is the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge, with rail on the upper level and road on the lower level. It's only open to NEXUS subscribers, people who cross the border frequently and are sped through Customs, because it links directly to neighborhood streets and would cause huge tie-ups otherwise.

Switching gears, here are artifacts of the former SB trumpet ramp linking to NY 384. With the abandonment of this part of the Parkway, the active SB lanes were routed to curve left gently. They still meet Niagara St. in the same spot as the old ramp, becoming the beginning of NY 384 SB, but part of the old trumpet ramp is now in the parking lot on the American side of Customs. The rest of it has been replanted with trees, leaving just the original retaining wall on the west side of the ramp and a few chunks of concrete pavement.

Walking down the ramp as if I am NY 384 NB-Parkway SB traffic, i.e. heading north.

Better views as I walk back south on the ramp, with a chunk of original concrete in the foreground of the second photo.

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