Bethpage State Parkway
Bethpage State Parkway is a 2.49 mile long parkway located in Nassau County, Long Island, New York. Its southern end is an interchange with the Southern State Parkway in North Massapequa, and its northern end is a traffic circle within Bethpage State Park. There are three interchanges between two ends that serve nearby roads, including the Hempstead Turnpike (NY Route 24). All crossroads, as well as the LIRR main line, are grade-separated. The parkway has a “super 2” design - a two-lane road with no center divider throughout its entire length. The Bethpage State Parkway is designated as New York State Reference Route 907E, an unsigned reference route, as well as the Philip B. Healey Memorial Parkway.
In 1936, the parkway was first opened to serve as a parkway connection from the Southern State Parkway to Bethpage State Park in eastern Nassau County. It cost an approximate of $1.1 million to construct, and also provides access to Hempstead Turnpike (NY 24). With the opening of this parkway, Bethpage State Park, with its five golf courses, immediately became a famous destination. The Bethpage State Parkway was designed for only carry cars to pass and no trucks are allowed. In 1977, maintenance of the Bethpage State Parkway was removed from the Long Island State Park Commission (LISPC) to the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), although ownership remained under the jurisdiction of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYSOPRHP). There were safety improvements made in 1980s and one of them was building of pedestrian/bicycle route alongside part of its length on the west side. Then, it moved to the east side and extended it to reach the parkway's entire length. The other improvements were wider 12-foot travel lanes, 10-foot-wide shoulders, improved reflective signs, and sand-filled impact attenuators.
According to the NYSDOT, the Bethpage State Parkway handles approximately 15,000 vehicles per day. It is expected to remain the only Long Island parkway to remain true to its origin as a two-lane undivided road. The 1,476-acre Bethpage State Park is the famous park in the parkway has five eighteen-hole golf courses such as the Black, Blue, Red, Green and Yellow, in decreasing order of difficulty. In fact, Bethpage State Park has been ranked #26 by Golf Digest in its most recent list of America's greatest golf courses and #6 in the New York State.
In 2002, the U.S. Open Championship was held here and will again host the U.S. Open in 2009. The park also has a handicap accessible polo field and catering facilities at the Golf Pro Shop and driving range. The Bethpage State Parkway was constructed with the purpose of providing a direct link into Bethpage State Park. It begins at the Southern Parkway, runs to the north, and ends at a traffic circle in the park. The Bethpage State Parkway is probably the least well-known parkway on Long Island. Yet, many people still want to access on it.