1958: The Stage is Set for Building the Sprain Brook Parkway in the Empire State

September 30, 1958

The New York State Department of Public Works (now part of the New York State Department of Transportation), in an official notification to the government of Westchester County, confirmed that it would begin construction on a long-planned highway in that county. (Westchester County is located in the southeastern region of the Empire State.) The proposed route in question was the Sprain Brook Parkway, and construction on it began soon after that official notification had been transmitted to the county government.

The first portion of the Sprain Brook Parkway (also known as the Sprain) to be completed was a stretch of 2.3 miles (3.7 kilometers) that connected the part of the Bronx River Parkway near the village of Bronxville with the area located 1,200 feet (370 meters) north of Tuckahoe Road in the city of Yonkers. This inaugural section of the Sprain Brook Parkway was opened to traffic in 1961.

The next segment of the Sprain Brook Parkway to be completed was an extension linking the vicinity of Tuckahoe Road with Jackson Avenue in the town of Greenburgh. This segment made its public debut in 1963. The next portion of the parkway — linking Jackson Avenue with the Cross Westchester Expressway in the village of Elmsford — would not be opened until 1969.

It would then be another seven years before construction began on the final part of the Sprain Brook Parkway. Work on this section between the Cross Westchester Expressway at Elmsford and the hamlet of Hawthorne was finished in 1980. A ceremony was held on October 28 of that year to celebrate the completion of the Sprain Brook Parkway in its entirety.

“A new 2.7-mile [4.3-kilometer] section of parkway that transportation officials hope will uncork some of Westchester’s worst bottlenecks is to open here tomorrow,” noted Edward Hudson in an article for the New York Times that he wrote in Westchester County the day before the ceremony. “The $25-million six-lane highway, the so-called ‘missing link’ of the Sprain Brook Parkway, will permit motorists to pick up the Sprain at the Hawthorne interchange and avoid a narrow, congested commercial strip in this little [hamlet] where fuming commuters from both northern and southern Westchester jam up every day.”

The dedication ceremony for the final version of the Sprain Brook Parkway was held in Greenburgh, specifically where this parkway intersects with Grasslands Road. Governor Hugh Carey, governor of New York, was among those attending this Tuesday morning ceremony and he performed the ribbon-cutting duties for the event.

The Sprain Brook Parkway encompasses 12.7 miles (20.4 kilometers) altogether. This route is maintained by the New York State Department of Transportation.

Photo Credit: Doug Kerr (licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en)

For more information on the Sprain Brook Parkway, please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sprain_Brook_Parkway

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