Oct 16 2019

Nassau County Department of Pubic Works Surveys and Maps: Closing the Motor Parkway

In a new Kleiner's Kolumn, Art Kleiner has obtained maps and surveys (1938-1968) from the Nassau County Department of Public Works detailing the plans for Motor Parkway after it closed in 1938.


Howard Kroplick


Kleiner's Kolumn:Nassau County's Plans for the Motor Parkway After It Closed in 1938

By Art Kleiner

Once the Motor Parkway was deeded to Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties in 1938, each county needed to decide what to do with their acquired property.   Over time some parts were used as bikeways, sold to utility companies, sold to developers for building construction, used as the basis for further highway development or jest left to be unused.  Apart from deciding what to do with the Parkway, public works projects were initiated to dismantle the bridges as some became a safety hazard.  Many of these projects have already been featured but new documentation has been uncovered with more detail about each.  Future blog posts will highlight the demolition plans from the Nassau County Department of Public Works.  But first, here are some maps showing what Nassau County had planned to do with the Motor Parkway. 

Map by Art Kleiner

Plans for the Motor Parkway Bridges in Nassau (1938)

In 1938 Nassau County began laying out plans for how to utilize the Motor Parkway.   Many bridges were to be eliminated while others were to be painted or not have anything done with them.  See if you can find your favorite bridge (numbers match those on the following maps) and see what the county had planned to do with them.

Disposition of the Motor Parkway (1939)

Here's a more informal map from 1939 highlighting who purchased the properties, which bridges were to be removed ("out"), land exchanges (i.e., Levitt) and abandoned sections. 

Nassau County owned Parkway property (1968)

These1968 maps depict the parkway right of way and which sections were still owned by Nassau County (indicated by the cross-hatching pattern in the roadway).  However, by examining each section it appears the map, while dated 1968 is actually from an earlier time frame.  For example, the Levittown/Hicksville area still is undeveloped, and still shows the LI Aviation Club that had closed 20 years prior.  Can you find other areas that would prove the 1968 date wrong? The many white areas might actually have been some way of overwriting previous notations. 

What ever the year, the maps shows Nassau County having possession of much of the Motor Parkway near Roosevelt Field and further west.  Over time we know that further development (and the need for tax revenue) probably had decreased the amount of county owned Motor Parkway right of way.