Franklin D. Roosevelt East River Drive


Franklin D. Roosevelt East River Drive

Franklin D. Roosevelt East River Drive marker

Franklin D. Roosevelt East River Drive
Route information
Maintained by NYSDOT and NYCDOT
Length: 9.44 mi[3] (15.19 km)
Existed: 1955[1] – present
History: Upgraded in 1966[2]
Major junctions
South end: NY 9A/West Side Highway in Battery Park
  I-495 at the Queens-Midtown Tunnel
NY 25 at the Queensboro Bridge
North end: Harlem River Drive at the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge
Location
Counties: New York
Highway system

Numbered highways in New York
Interstate • U.S. • N.Y. (former) • Reference • County

The Franklin D. Roosevelt East River Drive (commonly referred to as the FDR Drive or simply, The Drive) is a 9.44-mile (15.19 km) freeway-standard parkway on the east side of the New York City borough of Manhattan. It starts just north of the Battery Park Underpass at South and Broad Streets and runs along the entire length of the East River, from the Battery Park Underpass under Battery Park – north of which it is the South Street Viaduct – north to 125th Street / Robert F. Kennedy Bridge exit, where it becomes the Harlem River Drive. All of the FDR Drive is designated New York State Route 907L, an unsigned reference route.

The highway is mostly three lanes in each direction, with the exception of a small section underneath the Brooklyn Bridge where it is two lanes southbound and one lane northbound. A section between the Queensboro Bridge/60/61st Street interchange is also narrowed to two lanes. By law, the current weight limits on the FDR Drive from 23rd Street to the Harlem River Drive in both directions is posted 8,000 pounds (3,600 kg). Buses are not allowed to use the roadway north of 23rd Street, because of clearance and weight issues. All commercial vehicles (including trucks) are banned from all sections of the FDR Drive.[4] The FDR Drive features a mix of below-grade, at-grade, and elevated sections, as well as three partially covered tunnels.

Contents

Route description

FDR Drive passing Brooklyn Bridge

The FDR Drive starts at the southern tip at South and Broad Streets and becomes elevated to a point between Jackson Street and Gouverneur Slip, near the Manhattan Bridge exit. From there it is at street level, until it passes underneath Houston St overpass, then continues at grade. Once past the 14th St curve, it becomes elevated briefly, except the northbound roadway is at street level when passing through Waterside Plaza between 23rd and 34th Streets, then realigns with the southbound roadway above ground.

The roadway quickly dips onto street level after passing 42nd St, the southbound roadway is inside a later structure resembling a tunnel while the northbound roadway appears to be on the outside of the tunnel. This is due to the construction of the United Nations Headquarters on a platform above the FDR which is at grade. From 51st to 63rd Streets, in this tunnel, the southbound roadway is raised and runs slightly over the northbound roadway, so the Queensboro Bridge northbound exit can be built. North of 63rd street the roadways become level and run underneath the platforms of the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, while remaining at grade.

FDR Drive at night

From 79th to 90th Street runs a final enclosed, at-grade portion. The promenade of Carl Schurz Park was built over the highway, near Gracie Mansion. Except for a short elevation over the 96th Street interchange, the remaining portion of the roadway from this tunnel to the 125th St interchange is at grade.

The Manhattan Waterfront Greenway runs below, beside or above the motor road, except between 34th and 63d Streets. A plaque dedicating the East River Drive is visible on the southbound roadway before entering the Gracie Mansion tunnel at 90th Street.

History

Looking north from 6th Street overpass

Originally named East River Drive, FDR Drive was later renamed after Franklin Delano Roosevelt.[5] The roadway was designed by Robert Moses. He faced the difficulties of building a parkway/boulevard combination along the East River while minimizing disruptions to residents. The section from 125th Street to 92nd Street is the original 1934 construction, while sections from 92nd Street down to Battery Park (with the exception of a section from 42nd to 49th Streets) were built as a boulevard, an arterial highway running at street level. Future reconstruction designs from 1948 to 1966 converted FDR Drive into the full parkway that is in use today. [6]

The section of highway from 23rd Street to 34th Street was built on wartime rubble dumped by cargo ships returning from Bristol, England, during World War II. The German Luftwaffe bombed Bristol heavily. After delivering war supplies to the British, the ships' crews loaded rubble onto the ships for ballast, then sailed back to New York, where construction crews made use of it.[7]

Exit list

The entire route is in Manhattan (New York County).

Mile[3] Exit Destinations Notes
0.00 NY 9A/West Side Highway Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Battery Park Underpass under Battery Park
1 Battery Park, Staten Island Ferry Southbound exit and northbound entrance
1 South Street Northbound exit only
1.30 2 Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Civic Center
3 South Street - Manhattan Bridge Southbound exit and northbound entrance
4 Grand Street - Williamsburg Bridge Southbound entrance and exit
3.03 5 Houston Street - Holland Tunnel
6 East 15th Street Southbound exit and entrance; closed since September 11, 2001[citation needed]
3.87 7 East 20th Street, East 23rd Street Northbound exit is East 20th/23rd Streets. Southbound exit is East 25th/23rd Streets
4.80 8 To I-495 (Queens-Midtown Tunnel) / East 34th Street
5.05 9 East 42nd Street Northbound exit
10 East 49th Street Southbound exit and northbound entrance
11 East 53rd Street Southbound exit only
6.14 12 To NY 25 east (Queensboro Bridge) / East 61st Street, East 63rd Street
13 East 71st Street Southbound exit and entrance
East 79th Street Southbound entrance only
7.94 14 East 96th Street
15 East 106th Street Southbound exit and entrance
16 East 116th Street Southbound exit and entrance
9.44 17 I-278 (Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, Bruckner Expressway, Grand Central Parkway)
9.44 18 I-87 (Deegan Expressway) / Willis Avenue Bridge, East 125th Street Northbound exit is direct ramp to Willis Ave Bridge, southbound entrance from 1st Ave and East 125th Street
9.44 Harlem River Drive north – George Washington Bridge Continuation beyond I-278 and I-87 connections
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References

NY-blank (cutout).svg New York Roads portal

External links


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