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Interstate 495 New Jersey/New York


At one time part of the Interstate Highway System, the Lincoln Tunnel connects New Jersey with Midtown Manhattan in New York City. Interstate 495 no longer passes through the tunnel, which is shown here at the New Jersey (Weehawken) entrance. The tunnel consists of three tubes, which opened in 1937, 1945, and 1957. As part of the proposed Mid-Manhattan Expressway (Interstate 495), the tunnel would have been part of a freeway route across Manhattan connecting New Jersey with Queens. With the cancellation of the Mid-Manhattan Expressway in 1971, the section of Interstate 495 between Interstate 95 and the Lincoln Tunnel was orphaned from the Long Island Expressway segment east of the Queens Midtown Tunnel. In 1989, the Interstate 495 designation was removed from the New Jersey approach and Lincoln Tunnel. Now the route is known as New Jersey 495. Photo taken by Cesar Centeno, Jr. (01/01/08).

Former Routing

Former Interstate 495 in New Jersey and the west end of Manhattan island in New York City was originally planned as an east-west freeway to connect Interstate 95/New Jersey Turnpike with midtown Manhattan, Queens, and the western portion of the Long Island Expressway. However, once it became clear that no freeway would be constructed across Manhattan in 1971, Interstate 495 was downgraded to a state route in New Jersey in 1989.1 Only the New York section of Interstate 495 east of the Queens Midtown Tunnel remains in the Interstate system, and that Interstate was extended to cover the remaining distance of the Long Island Expressway heading east. A few Interstate 495 shields remain in place on this orphaned section of freeway, but most signs point to "Lincoln Tunnel" and not New Jersey 495.

See also the current Interstate 495 New York Page for more information on the current Interstate route to Long Island.

Western Terminus - Interstate 95/New Jersey Turnpike - Secaucus, New Jersey
Perspective from New Jersey 495 west
Button copy signage at the end of former Interstate 495 and the entrance to the New Jersey Turnpike. Vidcap taken by Alex Nitzman (10/98).
Perspective from Interstate 95/New Jersey Turnpike north
Interstate 95/New Jersey Turnpike splits into two segments between Interstate 280 and U.S. 46 (generally) in northeastern New Jersey. The eastern branch provides a connection to New Jersey 495/Lincoln Tunnel. Photo taken by AARoads (08/29/05).
Northbound Interstate 95/New Jersey Turnpike (eastern branch) reaches Exit 16E, Junction New Jersey 3 northwest to Clinton and Junction New Jersey 495 east to the Lincoln Tunnel. Note the absence of New Jersey 495 shields on the turnpike mainline. Photo taken by AARoads (08/29/05).
A third set of shields for the Lincoln Tunnel interchange (Exit 16E) is posted on northbound Interstate 95/New Jersey Turnpike. The exit is two lanes. Photo taken by AARoads (08/29/05).
Looking at the exit lanes from the Interstate 95/New Jersey Turnpike mainline after the toll plaza, a single New Jersey 495 shield is posted on a roadside sign with the control city of Lincoln Tunnel. New Jersey 3 travels northeast toward Clinton from here, while New Jersey 495 aims for Midtown Manhattan. Photo taken by AARoads (08/29/05).
Perspective from New Jersey 495 east
This Interstate 495 sign bridge was forgotten in sign replacements. This sign posted just to the east of the New Jersey Turnpike toll plaza. As of 3/15/00, the Interstate 495 button copy sign was still in place. This same sign was featured in the 1976 movie Cannonball. Vidcap taken by Alex Nitzman (10/98) and photo taken by Alex Nitzman (03/15/00).
Eastern Terminus - East End of Lincoln Tunnel - Manhattan, New York City, New York
Perspective from New Jersey 495 east
Leaving the Lincoln Tunnel eastbound in Manhattan, New York City, this sign indicates TO East Interstate 495. Vidcap taken by Alex Nitzman (10/98).
Leaving the Lincoln Tunnel and turning on 42nd Street is this hanging TO Interstate 495 sign. Vidcap taken by Alex Nitzman (10/98).


  1. Lincoln Tunnel ( by Steve Anderson

Page Updated August 7, 2008.

This map inset from the 1969 New Jersey Official Map shows the routing of former Interstate 495 between Interstate 95/New Jersey Turnpike and the Lincoln Tunnel as well as Interstate 495 signed west of Interstate 278 in New York. The connecting Central Manhattan Expressway was never constructed, even though it was proposed by Robert Moses as a connecting expressway through Midtown Manhattan. Note the proposed routing of Interstate 478 over the Manhattan Bridge rather than the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel.
I-495 New York Annual Average Daily Traffic

County From: To: AADT Composite
New York NJ state line/Lincoln Tunnel Dyer Street tunnel exit 114,700
New York Dyer Street tunnel exit 34th Street 10,900
Source: NYSDOT 2002 Traffic Volume Report

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