Interstate 278 or I -278 is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of New York. The highway forms a partial ring road through the city of New York City. The highway is located for a small part in the state of New Jersey, but mostly in the state of New York. The highway is a thoroughfare for several New York City boroughs, including Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. The highway also passes a short distance from Manhattan. There are three major bridges, of which the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge is the largest. The route is 57 kilometers long and has several names.
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The interchange between the New Jersey Turnpike and I-278 in New Jersey.
The highway begins on US 1 in Elizabeth, one of the larger subcenters in the New York metropolitan area with 126,000 residents. There are several refineries along the highway. One almost immediately crosses Interstate 95, the New Jersey Turnpike, which has 4×3 lanes here. I-278 has 2×3 lanes here. The two-kilometer-long Goethals Bridge crosses the Arthur Kill, a short strait between Staten Island and mainland New Jersey. This is a large cable- stayed bridge with two spans next to each other.
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Staten Island is one of New York City’s boroughs and by far the least populous. This island consists mainly of suburban area with large parks. The highway here is called the Staten Island Expressway. One soon crosses State Route 440, or the Westshore Expressway, the only north-south link on the island. I-278 then has 2×3 lanes. Through a partially unfinished interchange, State Route 440 turns north to the town of Bayonne, New Jersey. Halfway through the island is an unused junction, with four connecting arches leading nowhere. This should probably have been part of the Korean Veterans Parkway, a second north-south connection on the island.
Verrazzano Narrows Bridge
I-278 crosses The Narrows strait via the majestic Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, a 12-lane double-deck suspension bridge. The bridge is over 4 kilometers long in total, with a main span of 1,298 meters in length. The bridge is also where I-278 turns northeast. The bridge pylons are striking and can be seen throughout the region. On the Brooklyn side, there is an incomplete interchange with the Belt Parkway.
In Brooklyn, the highway is called the Gowanus Expressway and partially the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE). One crosses the Belt Parkway immediately after the Verrazzano Bridge and interchange is only possible via left exits. The highway then has 2×3 lanes and you pass through Brooklyn. There are continuous connections here and a little further on, the Belt Parkway and I-278 converge. The Belt Parkway forms a partial ring around Brooklyn and Queens. This section of the motorway is very outdated and rather poorly maintained. Only 2×3 lanes are available, which often leads to congestion. One passes by the ports of Brooklyn, which are located on the Gowanus Bay. A few miles away, the Prospect Expresswayin, a short branch deeper into Brooklyn. After this, 2×4 lanes will be available, but without emergency lanes. The Manhattan skyline is clearly visible from the highway.
After a mile, Interstate 478 exits, which leads through the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel to the southern center of Manhattan. After this, 2×3 lanes will be available again. The highway is sunken below ground level, with numerous bridges spanning the highway. This leads directly along the East River, with unobstructed views of the downtown skyline and the Statue of Liberty. Here one also crosses the Brooklyn Bridge and immediately afterwards the Manhattan Bridge, both of which lead to Manhattan. After this, only 2×2 lanes are available for traffic for a short distance, after which there are 2×3 lanes again. Here the highway turns a little to the east, and then turns to the northeast again. After this, one crosses theWilliamsburg Bridge, a fourth connection between Brooklyn and Manhattan. After this one arrives in Queens
The Kosciuszko Bridge crosses Newtoon Creek, which forms the border between Brooklyn and Queens. This section of the highway is still called the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE). One then quickly crosses Interstate 495, the Long Island Expressway (LIE). The highway runs in 2×3 lanes across a huge cemetery. It then crosses Queens Boulevard, a 12-lane urban arterial right through Queens. On the north side of Queens, it crosses the Grand Central Parkway, a major highway through Queens. The road briefly turns west, bypassing the Triborough Bridgecross the Hell Gate strait. This bridge has 2×4 lanes. You then arrive at Wards Island, a small island part of Queens. One can turn here to Harlem, in northern Manhattan, via a second span of the Triborough Bridge. I-278 continues straight ahead to enter the Bronx via a third span.
The highway here is called the Bruckner Expressway. The Bronx is a large borough and the only one on the mainland. In the Bronx, one immediately crosses Interstate 87, the Major Deegan Expressway, which runs through the Bronx via Yonkers to Montreal in Canada. The highway has since been raised. A little further into the Bronx, one crosses the Bronx River Parkway, one of the many parkways in New York. The highway traverses the Bruckner Interchange, a large and complex interchange with I-95, I-295, and I-678. A mile away, the highway ends at Interstate 695.
I-278 was built under the direction of Robert Moses. The oldest part of I-278 is the Goethals Bridge which opened to traffic on June 29, 1928 and was replaced by a new cable- stayed bridge in 2017. In 1969, I-278 was opened in New Jersey between Linden and the Goethals Bridge. There were originally plans to run I-278 further into New Jersey and connect to Interstate 78, but these plans were discontinued in 1969.
The second and third sections were the bridge connections between Brooklyn, Queens and The Bronx. Between 1929 and 1936, the Triborough Bridge between Queens, Manhattan, and The Bronx was constructed and opened on July 11, 1936. In 2008 the bridge was renamed the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge. In 1939, the Kosciuszko Bridge opened over Newtown Creek between Brooklyn and Queens. To make these bridges part of a highway, Robert Moses proposed the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, which opened in stages between 1954 and 1964.
The next plan was to build the Gowanus Expressway in Brooklyn, initially as an elevated highway with flyovers over Third Avenue. Construction began in 1939 and the 3.5-kilometer stretch of highway opened to traffic on October 1, 1941, at the time it was part of the Belt Parkway that encircled Brooklyn and Queens.
The remaining portions of I-278 were planned and built as part of Interstate 278. In 1956, the Interstate Highway program was launched, and in 1958, the then-incomplete highway was assigned the number I-278. The highway plans had already been developed before 1956. In the early 1960s, the missing sections of I-278 were opened, such as the Bruckner Expressway in The Bronx in 1962 and the majestic Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge between Staten Island and Brooklyn in 1964. The Staten Island Expressway was also opened that year.opened, making I-278 more or less complete, with the exception of the large Bruckner Interchange at the end of I-278 in The Bronx. This interchange between I-95, I-278, I-678 and the Hutchinson River Parkway replaced a traffic circle and was completed in 1972.
Between 2014 and 2019, the Kosciuszko Bridge on the border of Brooklyn and Queens was replaced by two new cable-stayed bridges.
The highway is busy, and has a lot of congestion, because there are generally only 2×3 lanes. There are between 113,000 and 160,000 vehicles on Staten Island. In Brooklyn, there are between 99,000 and 167,000 vehicles per day. There are between 103,000 and 163,000 vehicles per day in Queens. The Bronx has between 83,000 and 118,000 vehicles per day. It can be said that almost everywhere the highway is at its maximum capacity.
|Exit 1||Exit 2 (I-95)||2×3|
|Exit 2 (I-95)||Exit 9||2×2|
|Exit 9||Exit 10||4+3|
|Exit 10||Exit 14||2×4|
|Exit 14||Exit 15||4×3*|
|Exit 15||Exit 24||2×3|
|Exit 24||Exit 25 (I-478)||2×4|
|Exit 25 (I-478)||Exit 28||2×3|
|Exit 28||Exit 29||2×2|
|Exit 29||Exit 41||2×3|
|Exit 41||Exit 44 (I-87)||2×4|
|Exit 44 (I-87)||Exit 48 (I-95)||2×3|