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smalcross_paper - Heartbreak Highway The Cross-Bronx...

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Unformatted text preview: Heartbreak Highway The Cross-Bronx Expressway Steve Alpert 1.011 Final Project Spring 2003 The Cross-Bronx Expressway, one of the last freeways to be completed in New York City, represents the end of an era. Socially, it marked the last time a neighborhood would be torn apart while ignoring the voices of the people living there. Politically, it marked the end of Robert Moses career as head of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (TBTA). No planned freeway has been built in New York City since the completion of the Cross-Bronx (the Bruckner Expressway was already under construction), and the Cross-Bronx cannot reasonably be widened or rerouted. In short, the twenty years of heavy expressway construction following World War II came to a head with one of the most notorious highways still standing. After looking at a history of freeways in New York City and the development of the concept of a freeway crossing the heavily developed Bronx borough, this paper will go into the justification for the project, analyzing risks, potential costs, and potential benefits. Then, as the project unfolds, this paper will examine the social, political, and other construction problems Moses faced while still in charge of the TBTA, analyzing the costs they introduced. After sections on the Highbridge and Bruckner Interchanges, which cap the freeway on the west and east ends respectively, this paper concludes with a look at the effects of the Cross-Bronx, both local and national, and the state of the freeway today. History New York, in particular the New York City area, had been a pioneer in highway construction since the advent of the automobile. In 1908, William K. Vanderbilt, a racing fanatic who had already led races along local Long Island Streets, opened the Long Island Motor Parkway (LIMP) as a racecourse that could be used as a public highway, for a fee. Minus the tolls, which disappeared with the Parkway in April 1938, the concept of the New York parkway was introduced a high-speed, limited-access roadway with few if any grade crossings and prohibited to commercial traffic. While this first freeway was a private venture, once Robert Moses became Parks Commissioner of both the New York State and Long Island commissions in 1924, parkways became state ventures and thus were untolled. The debut of the modern parkway system came just one year after that appointment, with the opening of the Bronx River Parkway in 1925. Although there were some grade intersections, a few of which are still present, it remained true to the original LIMP in having completely controlled access in other words, there were few public and no private access points along the road. The Northern State Parkway, which caused the demise of the antiquated LIMP, opened in 1938, at which point the parkway system was quite developed. By 1945, when the expressway system was first proposed for all vehicles (because no commercial vehicles were allowed on any parkway), the parkways had formed an extensive network. the parkways had formed an extensive network....
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smalcross_paper - Heartbreak Highway The Cross-Bronx...

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