JFK Expressway

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40°39′34″N 73°47′32″W / 40.659437°N 73.792313°W / 40.659437; -73.792313

JFK Expressway

JFK Expressway highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by PANYNJ
Length2.5 mi[1] (4.0 km)
Major junctions
South end John F. Kennedy Airport
Major intersections I-678 in Jamaica
North end Belt Parkway / I-878 / NY 878 / NY 27 in Springfield Gardens
CountryUnited States
StateNew York
Highway system

The JFK Expressway is a short freeway connecting the Belt Parkway with John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York City. It interchanges with the Nassau Expressway (New York State Route 878 or NY 878) near the former proposed south end of the Clearview Expressway (Interstate 295 or I-295). The roadway is the newest expressway in New York City, opened in December 1991.[2]

Route description

JFK Expressway crosses over Rockaway Boulevard

The JFK Expressway begins on the grounds of John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York City. The road has southbound ramps that provide access to Terminals 1-2-3, Terminal 4, and Terminals 5-6-7 along with the parking areas to Terminals 4 and 5. The northbound direction has access from all these points. The northbound direction has an exit that provides access to the I-678 (Van Wyck Expressway) that also provides access to long-term parking, rental car returns, as well as return access to the terminals. There is also a southbound entrance from I-678. North of here, the road continues north as a four-lane freeway, with a southbound exit and northbound entrance to Terminal 8. In the area, the road passes under the AirTrain JFK people mover that serves the airport. The JFK Expressway passes under airport runways in a tunnel as a six-lane road and comes to an interchange with South Cargo Road, which provides access to Cargo Areas, Medical Building, Vetport, Airport Services, as well as a return route to the terminals.

The road turns to the north again and interchanges with 150th Street, with access to Long Term Parking, Rental Car Returns, and General Aviation. This interchange has no northbound exit, with the South Cargo Road interchange serving as the northbound exit. The JFK Expressway comes to an interchange with NY 878 (Nassau Expressway) with a northbound exit to the eastbound direction, which provides access to Rockaway Boulevard, and a northbound exit and entrance in both directions to the westbound direction, which also provides access to I-678 and the westbound Belt Parkway. The expressway has a northbound exit and southbound entrance with eastbound NY 27 (South Conduit Avenue) before merging into the eastbound direction of the Belt Parkway.[1]

Along the southbound lanes of the JFK Expressway just south of the junction with NY 27, there is an incomplete "stub" ramp that was to lead to the westbound lanes of NY 878, which were supposed to be built as far as Cross Bay Boulevard.[3] The $80 million extension was cancelled in 1995.[4]


Prior to the construction of the JFK Expressway, the right-of-way was occupied by Cornell Creek, which flowed through Beaver Pond and Baisley Pond into Jamaica Bay. 150th Street, originally Three Mile Mill Road, was later laid out along the banks of the creek. The construction of JFK Airport made the creek subterranean, depressed underground.[5]

The Van Wyck Expressway (Interstate 678) was first opened in 1950, connecting the airport to the Grand Central Parkway,[6] and later extended north to the Whitestone Expressway. At the time, it was the only expressway connected to the airport. Consequently, traffic jams often backed up the expressway for several miles north.[7]

What is now the JFK Expressway was first proposed in the 1960s by the Port Authority, as a second short highway on the east side of the airport. The new expressway would have connected to a southern extension of the Clearview Expressway (today's Interstate 295), providing a second north–south expressway route to the airport and connecting to the Throgs Neck Bridge. The connection to the Clearview would have been direct as a single expressway, or indirect and connected by the Nassau Expressway, depending on the routing of the Clearview Extension.[7][8][9] The existing portion of Clearview Expressway was completed in 1963 as part of Interstate 78. Due to a freeway revolt, it was only completed as far south as Hillside Avenue (NY 25); the expressway was to continue south from Hillside Avenue to NY 27 (Conduit Avenue) to the Nassau Expressway in Laurelton, with Interstate 78 proceeding west across Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan to the Holland Tunnel.[8][10][11] The section of Clearview Expressway between Conduit and Hillside Avenues was deemed too disruptive to the surrounding neighborhoods. It, and the rest of I-78 between the Holland Tunnel and the existing Clearview spur were cancelled by Governor Nelson Rockefeller in March 1971.[9][12]

The JFK Expressway was built as part of a costly overhaul of the JFK Airport that began in the late 1980s.[3][13] The highway was provisionally referred to as the 150th Street Airport Expressway or 150th Street Expressway, after the street it was replacing.[3][14] The first portion to open was the junction with the Nassau Expressway and 150th Street, the second major entrance to the airport, which was completed around 1986.[15] In 1991, the JFK Expressway was completed.[2] The JFK Expressway, lying almost exclusively within JFK Airport, is maintained by the airport's operator, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), along with the portions of the Van Wyck Expressway on airport grounds and all other airport roadways.[2]

Exit list

The entire route is in the New York City borough of Queens

JFK Airport0.000.00 Terminals 1-3
0.000.00 Terminal 4 Parking, Terminals 5-7, Terminal 5 ParkingSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
0.100.16 Terminal 4Southbound exit and northbound entrance
0.200.32- I-678 (Van Wyck Expressway) – Long Term Parking, Rental Car ReturnNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
0.400.64- Terminal 8Southbound exit and northbound entrance
0.901.45C South Cargo Road – Cargo Areas, Rental Car Return, Long Term Parking
1.302.09B Long Term Parking, Cell Phone Lot, Rental Car Returns, Cargo AreasNorthbound exit is via exit C
Springfield Gardens1.502.41A

NY 878 to Belt Parkway west / I-878 / Rockaway Boulevard east
No southbound exit; exit 2 on NY 878
NY 27 east (South Conduit Avenue)
Northbound exit and southbound entrance
Belt Parkway east – Eastern Long Island
Exit 20 on Belt Parkway
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b c Google (January 5, 2017). "JFK Expressway" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Steinberg, Jacques (December 28, 1991). "Port Authority Plans Changes at Kennedy". New York Times.
  3. ^ a b c Nassau Expressway Construction, New York City: Environmental Impact Statement. United States Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, New York State Department of Transportation. 1981. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
  4. ^ Herszenhorn, David M. (September 3, 1995). "NEIGHBORHOOD REPORT: SOUTH OZONE PARK; 'Road to Nowhere': Still No Return". The New York Times. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  5. ^ Kadinsky, Sergey (2016). Hidden Waters of New York City: A History and Guide to 101 Forgotten Lakes, Ponds, Creeks, and Streams in the Five Boroughs. New York, NY: Countryman Press. p. 151. ISBN 978-1-58157-566-8.
  6. ^ Thorne, B.K (October 22, 1950). "New Expressway Shortens Trip to Idlewild". The New York Times. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
  7. ^ a b Fowle, Farnsworth (October 23, 1968). "Van Wyck Roads Are Under Study: Better Use of Service Lanes Sought for Kennedy Traffic". The New York Times. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Expressway Plans". Regional Plan News. Regional Plan Association (73–74): 1–18. May 1964. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Zupan, Jeffrey M.; Barone, Richard E.; Lee, Mathew H. (January 2011). "Upgrading to World Class: The Future of the New York Region's Airports" (PDF). Regional Plan Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 24, 2015. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
  10. ^ New York and New Jersey Tourgide Map (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally and Company. Gulf Oil Company. 1960.
  11. ^ Ingraham, Joseph C. (March 5, 1957). "State Road Plans Snarled By Political Tugs of War; Study of Long-Range Program Linked to National System Finds a Financial Muddle and Lack of Initiative". The New York Times. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
  12. ^ Cliness, Francis X. (March 25, 1971). "Lower Manhattan Road Killed Under State Plan". The New York Times. p. 78. Retrieved April 14, 2010.
  13. ^ Schmitt, Eric (February 2, 1987). "NEW YORK AIRPORTS: $3 BILLION PROGRAM". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  14. ^ "The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey: 1972 Annual Report" (PDF). Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. 1972.
  15. ^ Boorstin, Robert O. (October 29, 1986). "COLUME ONE; TRANSPORT". The New York Times. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  16. ^ "Queens County Inventory Listing" (CSV). New York State Department of Transportation. August 7, 2015. Retrieved September 5, 2017.

External links