Jul 19 2011

The Long Island Motor Parkway Bridge Series: #1 North Hempstead Turnpike Bridge in Fresh Meadows

One of the important pioneering features of the Long Island Motor Parkway was the first construction of bridges associated with an automobile road to eliminate grade crossings. A total of at least 65 bridges were built for the Motor Parkway from 1908 to 1926 over crossroads (designated a parkway bridge), under crossroads (designated a highway bridge), and, as part of right-of-way agreements, to connect farmlands (designated a farmway bridge).

VanderbiltCupRaces.com introduces a new series "The Motor Parkway Bridges" which will attempt to document these bridges using the 1928 Long Island Motor Parkway Atlas, survey maps, aerial images, and ground-level photos. The series will move east starting from the Western Terminus in Fresh Meadows, Queens to Suffolk County. First up, the North Hempstead Turnpike Bridge, a parkway bridge.

1928 Atlas- Fresh Meadows, Queens


The North Hempstead Turnpike Bridge was built in 1926 and was the first bridge south of the Western Terminus. Note the original western terminus planned in 1912 was scheduled to end at Black Stump Road (73rd Avenue) rather than Nassau Boulevard.

Survey Map- October 9, 1924

The land for the North Hempstead Turnpike Bridge was conveyed by the Wheeler Brothers to the Lakeville Holding and Development Company, a holding company for the Long Island Motor Parkway, Inc.

Aerial Photo- June 24, 1938

An aerial view looking north showing the bridge and the Western Terminus, two months after the Motor Parkway was closed..

Aerial Photo- June 2, 1939

A great view of the bridge looking west, one year after the Motor Parkway was closed

Aerial View-1948

The northern embankment of the bridge was taken down in the 1940s as shown in this aerial looking south, courtesy of New York Life Archives.

Ground-Level Images -1950s


The bridge as seen in the early 1950s, courtesy of Robert Levene.



VanderbiltCupRaces.com contributor Mitch Kaften provided these two Little League photos captured by his father Douglas Kaften in 1955. The bridge can be seen in the background shortly before it was totally taken down

Current Views



Holy Cow Parkground, named after Queens resident Phil Rizzuto, now occupies the location of the North Hempstead Turnpike Bridge. There are no remaining remnants.

Links to related posts on VanderbiltCupRaces.com:

Archives: Long Island Bridge Series

Wikimapia: Fresh Meadows

The Planned Fresh Meadows Motor Parkway Western Terminus in 1912

Archives: Long Island Motor Parkway Bridges- Queens

Archives: Long Island Motor Parkway Bridges


Jul 24 2011 Roy Warner 11:01 AM

Dear Howard. Thank you for posting the Fresh Meadows article. I was five years old when my family moved into a new house in 1953 on the other side of the expressway. Before the War, a golf course and farms. After the war - all filled in, with Francis Lewis Blvd. as well. I can’t remember the number of times I took my bike on the Motor Parkway.

Feb 02 2020 Roy Warner 10:14 AM

It’s now nine years later that I’m reading what I wrote in 2011. Of course, the LIE didn’t exist when we moved to Fresh Meadows; construction started in 1957-58. It was Horace Harding Blvd., which was dangerous to cross. The only way to do it safely was to cross the “service road” first to a “median” between the main road and the service road, similar to Ocean Pkwy in Bklyn, stop, wait for the light to change, and then cross over to the next “service road.” My house is just out of view (199th St. and 51st Ave) looking north from the Francis Lewis, Horace Harding, Hollis Court Blvd. intersection (what a mess with all of the lights). Thank you, again, for the memories.

Feb 10 2020 Tom Padilla 3:50 PM

Does anyone know the names of any of the realtors involved in the land transactions for the parkway up to and including 1913? Have those records been compiled in one place? I live within a thousand feet of the western terminus, on the northern side of Horace Harding Expressway. I’m wondering whether Willie K. friend S. Osgood Pell and his Fifth Ave firm was involved, specifically. Thanks.

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