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SI1980

Gowanus Expressway (I-278) from 1965

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Below, are two vintage photographs of the newly constructed (then in 1965) Gowanus Expressway (I-278) in Brooklyn, New York. The roads were not as congested as they are today. Boy, have times changed.

 

At Ft. Hamilton Pkwy. 1965. Note that most, if not all, of these overpasses did have not additional fences on the original guardrails.

 

65675033339_000230_zps7bcd52a8.jpg

 

On the Gowanus viaduct. 1965. Vintage gantry and signage. Lower Manhattan is in the background.

 

65675033339_005244_zps74f725dc.jpg

 

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Honestly seeing the Gowanus overpass without construction is like a total first for me of my 24 years of existence.

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Honestly seeing the Gowanus overpass without construction is like a total first for me of my 24 years of existence.

 

Shocker isn't it?

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Everything was fairly new at this time. In my time, I recall the widening of the elevated portion of the expressway, not to mention the extension to Bay Ridge and the newly completed Verrazano Narrows Bridge. My parents and I used to visit relatives in Brooklyn sometimes, and I used to see the workers on the segment.

 

As I look at the second photograph of the viaduct, it seems that it was only yesterday I drove on that viaduct. Brings back some memories, you know. I was in my early 20s in the late 1960s, and my father gave me his '59 Buick LeSabre, and I used to drive in it on that viaduct countless times when I used to work in the city. I remember the engine overheated in 1971 when I crossed the viaduct. I barely made it to the Hamilton Avenue exit ramp before it smoked like a chimney. Memories, memories...

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Here are some other vintage photographs of interstate 278 in Brooklyn.

 

Below, are two photographs of the original Gowanus viaduct under construction. From 1941.

 

Construction_zpscb18d215.jpg

 

indexCAVQV6L2_zps01ea025e.jpg

 

The next three are from 1965 and 1966 respectively.

 

On the Brooklyn side of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. At the split of the Shore (then) Pkwy. and Gowanus Expwy.

 

65675033338_004853_zps7b33dfc0.jpg

 

Gowanus Expwy. at the exit ramp for Third Avenue.

 

65675033339_002139_zpse70f6783.jpg

 

At exit 28B in downtown Brooklyn. Vintage street lamps and signage here. I remember these well.

 

65675033340_002162_zps94d3342c.jpg

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I have three additional photographs of the highway from Brooklyn. These are from 1965. This is my last set I have.

 

On the elevated portion of the Gowanus Expwy. At 34th Street.

 

65675033339_003979_zps02f438b6.jpg

 

Gowanus Expwy. at the Prospect Expwy.

 

65675033339_004485_zps5989a719.jpg

 

Brooklyn-Queens Expressway near Woodhull Street.

 

65675033340_000437_zps5c15a6f6.jpg

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Wow, the Gowanus looks so different back then. The hell happened to it now?!

 

Excellent pics by the way !

Edited by LRG

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Wow, the Gowanus looks so different back then. The hell happened to it now?!

 

Excellent pics by the way !

 

Heavy traffic, harsh weather and deferred maintenance (the fiscal crisis in the 70's) over the years have taken it's toll on the Gowanus Expressway. My understanding is that there were several proposals in the 90's to actually build a new vehicular tunnel to replace the Gowanus expressway, with civil engineers who were assessing the condition of the highway, citing that the highway may be beyond repair at this point, much like the current Tappan Zee Bridge situation.

Edited by realizm
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Back when they were building that viaduct it was the "Gowanus Parkway". It was converted to an Expressway with the building of the Verrazano.

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