Interstate 878 New York
Signed as New York 878, Interstate 878 overlays the portion of the Nassau Expressway built with Interstate Highway funds. The route officially totals just 0.70 miles in length, making I-878 the shortest Interstate in the system. The Nassau Expressway is an eastbound-only roadway from NY 27 (Conduit Boulevard) at Ozone Park to Interstate 678 (Van Wyck Expressway) on the north side of John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). Westbound lanes accompany Nassau Expressway from Rockaway Boulevard to Belt Parkway ahead of the Van Wyck Expressway. The I-878 mileage references just the dual roadway section east of I-678.
Originally planned to be part of Interstate 78 extending southeast from Lower Manhattan through Brooklyn to Queens, the Nassau Expressway opened in 1971 as a one-way eastbound freeway. The proposed alignments for I-78 through Brooklyn and Queens were eliminated in 1971, but the Nassau Expressway segment remained signed as I-78 until 1989.1 AASHTO previously deleted I-78 along the Nassau Expressway on June 23, 1969, opting to redesignate it as Interstate 878.
The unconstructed westbound lanes of I-878 were scrapped in 1981 due to community opposition and other issues. The one-way segment extends between Cross Bay Boulevard and Interstate 678 (Van Wyck Expressway) just south of the Belt (Southern) Parkway. East of I-678, both directions were built to a jug handle intersection with Hangar Road. Nassau Expressway extends southeast from there as an at-grade road into Nassau County as Rockaway Boulevard.
East End – Queens, New York, NY
West End – Queens, New York, NY
Mileage – 0.70
Cities – New York City
- Junctions –
Source: December 31, 2018 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
I-878 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)
|Location||Vehicles per day|
|Cross Bay Bl to Lefferts Bl||50,401|
|Lefferts Bl to I-678||49,585|
|I-678 to JFK Expwy||32,534|
|JFK Expwy to Rockaway Bl||57,548|
Source: 2015 NYSDOT Traffic Data Viewer
Although not shielded, NYSDOT reference markers identify the route as “878I” for the freeway portion within the vicinity of Interstate 678 and John F. Kennedy Expressway. The I suffixed on NYSDOT reference markers identifies an Interstate highway. According to Steve Anderson’s site, I-878 shields were posted in 1989 when the Interstate designation was first confirmed.
Prior to the renumbering of Interstates 278 and 895 in Bronx, New York by AASHTO on June 23, 1969:, the Interstate 878 designation was reserved for the Bruckner Expressway east from the Sheridan Expressway (I-895) to the Bruckner Interchange with I-95. During that time period, Interstate 278 followed the Sheridan Expressway north to the Cross Bronx Expressway. It was proposed to extend 5.2 miles further along an alignment over U.S. 1 (Boston Post Road) northeast to Interstate 95 at the New England Thruway. The Sheridan Expressway extension however was dropped in 1971, along with several other metropolitan expressway proposals.2 I-278 was instead realigned over planned I-878 and the small section of the Sheridan Expressway was redesignated as Interstate 895. For more, visit Steve Anderson’s Sheridan Expressway.