OLDNYC.COM--> Virtual Tour --> LOMEX (I-78) --> Watts Street to Elizabeth Street Picture Gallery #7

Broome Street looking east.

Broome Street helps to relieve Canal Street with cross-town traffic.   Since Broome Street is not very wide to begin with, the street experiences a lot of traffic congestion.  Moses believed the LOMEX would aid with the movement of local traffic.  From nycroads.com: "The removal of through passenger and commercial traffic from the local streets would in itself provide much needed relief for local and short trip movements.  In addition, surface improvements would be provided as a part of the expressway program with the result that additional capacity would be available for local traffic (from the 1955 Joint Study of Arterial Facilities)."

Broome Street, looking west.

Broome Street and Centre Street, looking south at Centre Street.  The LOMEX would take on a different appearance from this point on.  From nycroads.com: "Near Centre Street, the outer lanes of the highway would descend and pass under Elizabeth Street, continuing eastward in an open-walled cut to the Williamsburg Bridge Plaza.  All streets except Mulberry and Mott would be carried across bridges over the depressed highway."

This particular section of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, located in the neighborhood of Red Hook, gives us a good indication of what the depressed highway would look like.  The open-walled highway cut for the LOMEX was to transverse the neighborhoods of Little Italy, Chinatown, and the Lower East Side.

Approaching the corner of Broome and Mulberry Streets.

According to the LOMEX highway plans, the neighborhoods of Little Italy and Chinatown would have been divided in to two, since engineers did not allow Mulberry Street and Mott Street to have a through-connection that would have traversed the expressway.   Dividing the neighborhoods would not have been a good thing for the communities involved.

Notice how Broome Street is now only a two-lane thoroughfare at this location.

Here is what happens when a depressed highway cuts across a neighborhood and there isn't a bridge to provide access to the other side of the street.  Warren Street in Red Hook Brooklyn is split in to two because a bridge was not built in order to traverse the trenched section of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.  Mulberry and Mott Streets would have suffered the same fate had the LOMEX been built.

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