Mar 24 2012

Bikeway Construction Uncovers the Motor Parkway in Bethpage State Park Buried for Over 50 Years

While walking in Bethpage State Park earlier this month, Tom Dziurka noticed activity in a closed off construction area near the Motor Parkway right-of-way. After receiving an alert from Tom, Al Velocci and I met with members of the New York Department of Transportation at the construction site last week. Here is our report.


Howard Kroplick

The NYS Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) is planning to extend the existing 8.8 mile Bethpage Bike Path from the picnic fields at Bethpage State Park through Trail View State Park on to Syosset, terminating at the LIRR Station, in a combination Shared Use Path/ On-Road facility with a total length of 16.8 miles.

Approximately 1/2 mile of the new 7-mile section of the Bethpage Bikeway will be built on the historic Motor Parkway in Bethpage State Park in Old Bethpage. This 1950 aerial of the Motor Parkway shows the area under construction including near one of the first banked curves built for the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race.

The new construction begins after the turn for the picnic fields. This view looking north is directly in the Motor Parkway right-of-way. It is very likely similar to the 1908 construction site.

Fortunately, the banked curved section will be left untouched and preserved.

Another view looking north. Historic markers will be placed promoting the history of the Long Island Motor Parkway and the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race.

A view looking south. The bike path is being built to the right.

After the curve, the bike path continues along the Motor Parkway right-of way for about 400 yards (four football fields).

These amazing exclusive photos were taken on March 12, 2012 during the early construction of the bike path. Hidden for over 50 years by soil, leaves and debris, the pavement of the 103-year old Motor Parkway was uncovered!

One week later, much of this uncovered treasure was buried once again by crushed concrete to be used for the bike path. Al Velocci can be seen standing on original pavement discussing the construction with members of the Department of Transportation.

A section of the Motor Parkway awaiting to be repaved for its new use as a bike path.

The new "Motor Parkway" bike path is expected to open this summer. Given the preservation of the banked curve, the placement of historical markers, and its new use as a bike path, members of the Long Island Motor Parkway Preservation Society are very positive about this project. Thanks Tom for the heads up!!

Related links on the Internet and

Bethpage Bikeway- NYDOT website


Mar 25 2012 Kenneth J. Harris 9:58 AM

Thanks to Tom Dziurka for spotting this and notifying.

Nice find.  Thanks to Tom Dziurka for spotting and reporting this, and thanks to Al Veloci and Howard Kroplick for the quick follow up.  Keep up the great work!  I really enjoy my daily look at the blog.

Mar 25 2012 matt 12:41 PM

I just saw this the other day. here is a short video from my recumbent from the Lois Lane entrance:

Mar 25 2012 Jim Waechtler 1:41 PM

I remember walking along this section of the LIMP in the early 1960s.  But, the houses nearby are still very much within Old Bethpage (hamlet/CDP, hamlet, school district, & postal district). The office buildings for Bethpage State Park have a Farmingdale postal address. There was no Old Bethpage post office until 1965.

Mar 25 2012 E. Dean Butler 2:06 PM

Just a quick “thank you” for the work you put into this fantastic site. I hugely enjoy your postings.

Mar 25 2012 ROGER YACKEL 3:49 PM


Mar 25 2012 James 5:37 PM

Assuring to hear that the majority of expert input feels the current plans bode well for the preservation of the Vanderbilt. That said, it still seems as if the actual “preservation” and “modern usage” efforts put in to the bike path in the Alley Pond and Cunningham portions in Queens placed higher regard on the original location and direction of the historic roadway.

Mar 25 2012 Denis 5:56 PM

I have to get over there and see this. We just rode it back in late January and it was untouched.  I just found out this week that construction started from someone at DOT… I was under the impression that they were still reviewing bids!!!

Mar 25 2012 Brian D McCarthy 6:47 PM

I’ll definitely check this area out ( during my annual LIPA patrols of course. ) This is really good news.

Mar 25 2012 cathy ball 6:52 PM

Truly amazing!

Mar 26 2012 Tom 1:00 PM

Nice and glad at least some of it is being preserved and not covered over. Good stuff!

Mar 29 2012 Michael 9:55 AM

You have done a wonderful job with this site.  The collection of historic photos offers a fantastic look at how the area developed around the Motor Parkway.  I really appreciated the photos of the bridge abutments within Bethpage State Park from the 1980’s.  As a kid growing up in the area in the 1970’s and 1980’s, we called that “The Wall”.

Mar 31 2012 Tom 11:48 AM

Very informative as always, nice photos too!

Apr 09 2012 Joe 11:17 AM

How would you access this new area from the existing bike path?

Apr 09 2012 Howard Kroplick 11:00 PM

It will open in the Summer as an extension of the bike paths already built in Bethpage State Park.

Aug 06 2012 Vincent A. 9:11 PM

I recently noticed some old asphalt adjacent to the parking lot on the “grandstand side”  of the polo field. I wonder if this could also be part of motor parkway also? It is very close to the area of ongoing construction. Its very visible between the trees and the newer asphalt patking lot. I can photograph it if anyone is interested?

Aug 07 2012 Howard Kroplick 1:44 AM

Vince, please send the jpegs to me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Thanks!

May 13 2013 Ted 10:28 PM

Sunday while my wife,daughter and granson were having their Mothers Day together I took a hike and I mean a hike about 4hrs.didn’t know there are so many tralls.Did find the untouched environment,Motor Parkway Curve,also in my hiking i found 2 entrances,one on Haypath Rd,where they just finished the bike path and the other,by the exit of the parkway,couldn’t figure out which one,so you can see how far I went,not just on the bath,but around and around on the trails,but it was very interesting, I found myself entering on the golf course,picnic area and the entrance about where the toll booth is. Quite a hike ha

Leave a Comment