Cross Island Parkway is a parkway located in Queens County, Long Island, New York. It is a part of the Belt Parkway system that runs 10.6 miles from the Whitestone Expressway (Interstate 678) in Whitestone past the Throgs Neck Bridge, along and across the border of Queens and Nassau County to meet up with the Southern State Parkway and the Laurelton Parkway.
Cross Island Parkway is unsigned New York State Reference Route 907A. The parkway is the main route to Belmont Park in Elmont, where the Belmont Stakes is run every June, marking the third and final leg of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. The exit numbering scheme on the Cross Island Parkway is a continuation of the exit numbering scheme on the Belt Parkway.
Cross Island Parkway Northbound approaching Hempstead Turnpike, Cambria Heights
Cross Island Parkway Northbound at Bell Boulevard, Clearview
Cross Island Parkway Northbound at Grand Central Parkway, Oakland Gardens
In 1934, the 36-mile-long Belt Parkway, which included the 11½-mile-long Cross Island Parkway, was built. The northern end of the Cross Island Parkway was constructed on the right-of-way of the long-abandoned LIRR Whitestone branch. The parkway was originally planned as the “Creedmoor Parkway”, which intended as an extension of the planned “Marginal Boulevard” (now known as the Belt Parkway) that was to run along the eastern boundary of Queens, connecting the Southern State Parkway to the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge.
The combination of Cross Island Parkway and Belt Parkway in able for the motorists to travel an easy way from Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island to the eastern Bronx, Westchester and Connecticut (via the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge).
The Cross Island Parkway-Belt Parkway route is considered as the greatest municipal highway venture ever attempted in an urban setting. It connected the Long Island parkways to the recently opened Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, providing easier access from upstate New York and New England to Jones Beach. A small portion of the parkway intersects into Nassau County just north of Belmont Park.
Cross Island Parkway Northbound at Hillside Avenue Exit, Floral Park
Cross Island Parkway Northbound at Throgs Neck Bridge, Clearview
The entire route has a total of 47 road bridges, six pedestrian overpasses, five railroad bridges, and six over-water crossings were built. It surrounds 26 park areas totaling more than 3,500 acres, including Alley Pond Park, Crocheron Park, and Clearview Park and Golf Course.
Cross Island Parkway Northbound at Jamaica Avenue, Bellerose
Cross Island Parkway Northbound by Little Neck Bay, Bayside
The New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) is responsible in maintaining the Cross Island Parkway and its surrounding rights-of-way. Cross Island Parkway carries approximately 150,000 vehicles per day.
The NYSDOT have several plans in which the parkway will be benefited from safety improvements and renovation projects, such as the reconstruction of the main roadway and ramps, and the installation of new signs and lighting. They also conducted minor rehabilitation of the main roadways, ramps and bridges from EXIT 25C (Southern State Parkway) north to EXIT 36 (I-678 / Whitestone Expressway).