May 06 2008

The Lost Bridges of the Motor Parkway: The Wheeler Farmway Bridge in Queens

When the 48 miles of the Motor Parkway were completed in 1926, a total of 65 bridges had been built over and under the parkway. Most of the bridges were used to avoid intersections of major roads. However, many of the bridges were built to connect adjoining properties and farms. These "farmway" bridges were part of the negotiations when the Long Island Motor Parkway, Inc. purchased the right-of way. Only 7 of the original bridges remain intact; 73rd Avenue Bridge, Hollis Hills Terrace Bridge, Springfield Boulevard, Wheeler Farmway Bridge, Alley Pond Bridge, Old Courthouse Road Bridge and the farmway bridge in Old Bethpage Village Restoration.

This particular bridge near 226th Street was originally discovered over 20 years ago by the well-known Parkway historian Bob Miller. The Wheeler Farmway Bridge (seen in above image) was rediscovered in 2008 by Queens resident Eddie Murray Jr. while walking on the Motor Parkway bike path. The concrete tops of the bridge can be seen on both sides of the road.Eddie, thanks for documenting the bridge. Does anyone else know of other lost Motor Parkway treasures? Add a comment below.


Sep 20 2010 Howard Kroplick 9:53 PM

From Robert Miller describing his discovery:

I crawled inside the underpass/overpass several years ago and took some prints of the abutments—you can see 1911 cast into them—somewhat lime-encrusted, but legible.  There’s also one of the tubular metal railings which adorned the top of the bridge on the side, which has tossed under when it rotted off its uprights.

Jun 25 2013 old motor roader 11:40 PM

Wheeler’s Bridge was filled in the the 1960’s (I believe) to keep the roadway from collapsing. As a boy, I remember one day coming across another crossing near Creedmor and the entire roadway was gone. I almost fell in ‘cause I was going about 100 mph on my bicycle, as usual. They cut off that hunk and filled in the grade where it goes down to Winchester Blvd.! I do remember being able to look nearly straight down to Winchester at that end. It’s probably wooded slope now. Thank you all for the memories!

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