Miller Highway

The West Side Highway was an elevated parkway extending from West 72nd Street down to Chambers Street that was constructed between 1927 and 1931. The highway permitted trucks to travel between the piers on the waterfront to warehouses on the island without obstructing auto traffic. The highway was named the Miller Elevated Highway after Julius Miller, the Manhattan Borough President who shepherded it into existence through a bureaucratic maze.

While novel for its time, the pre-modern design of the highway was not suited to the post-WW-II boom in traffic. On December 15, 1973, a section of the highway near Gansevoort Street collapsed under a truck that was carrying asphalt for repair of the highway further north. The highway was subsequently closed and was gradually demolished between 1977 and 1989.

Community opposition derailed the "Westway" project, which would have replaced the highway with a tunnel. The highway was ultimately replaced with an at-grade highway south of 59th Street. The only remaining elevated section of the new highway was the reconstructed viaduct over the Westside Railyard, which had long-since been abandoned. In 1999 the new highway was renamed after famed New York Yankees center fielder Joe DiMaggio.

Miller Highway viaduct
9/2/2001 01:26 PM
Miller Highway viaduct
The deck of the viaduct over the railyard grounds
9/2/2001 06:40 AM
The deck of the viaduct over the railyard grounds
Under the viaduct over the railyard grounds
9/2/2001 06:57 AM
Under the viaduct over the railyard grounds
Henry Hudson Parkway north of the West Side Railyard
9/2/2001 06:40 AM
Henry Hudson Parkway north of the West Side Railyard
Viaduct leading to 72nd Street
9/2/2001 06:56 AM
Viaduct leading to 72nd Street
West 72nd Street terminating at the Miller Highway
9/2/2001 01:18 PM
West 72nd Street terminating at the Miller Highway
Under the viaduct leading to 72nd Street
9/2/2001 01:29 PM
Under the viaduct leading to 72nd Street
Rusted support
9/5/2008 11:39 AM
Rusted support
Miller Highway viaduct
4/19/2008 09:21 AM
Miller Highway viaduct
Looking south under the viaduct
9/5/2008 11:46 AM
Looking south under the viaduct
Looking south under the viaduct
9/5/2008 11:48 AM
Looking south under the viaduct
Old fire department sign on support
9/5/2008 12:18 PM
Old fire department sign on support

Riverside Drive Extension / 72nd Street Exit

The original configuration of the Miller Highway terminated at 72nd Street with a 90-degree turn onto 72nd Street . When the Henry Hudson Parkway was completed north through Riverside Park in 1936 as part of the "West Side Improvement", the Miller Highway continued north directly onto the Parkway. A complex "interchange" permitted entry from and exit to 72nd Street. Although the ramps to/from the southbound lanes were removed prior to the 1990s renovation of the viaduct, vestigial substructure remained.

Drivers wishing to go southbound could take a ramp from Riverside Drive that passed under the northbound lanes and rose between the lanes to a left-hand entrance ramp.

Vestigial structure of closed on-ramp to southbound viaduct from 72nd Street
9/5/2008 11:40 AM
Vestigial structure of closed on-ramp to southbound viaduct from 72nd Street
Vestigial 72nd Street ramps
9/5/2008 11:40 AM
Vestigial 72nd Street ramps
Viaduct and Riverside Boulevard converge at 72nd Street
9/5/2008 12:16 PM
Viaduct and Riverside Boulevard converge at 72nd Street
Closed ramp to southbound lanes
9/5/2008 11:41 AM
Closed ramp to southbound lanes
Closed ramp to southbound lanes
9/5/2008 11:42 AM
Closed ramp to southbound lanes
Closed ramp to southbound lanes
9/5/2008 11:42 AM
Closed ramp to southbound lanes

There was a corresponding exit from the southbound Parkway that exited at 72nd Street and passed under both lanes to empty onto 70th Street.

Closed southbound exit to 70th Street
9/2/2001 06:44 AM
Closed southbound exit to 70th Street
Closed southbound exit to 70th Street
9/5/2008 11:39 AM
Closed southbound exit to 70th Street
Vestigial lamp posts on closed exit ramp
10/10/2008 11:37 AM
Vestigial lamp posts on closed exit ramp
Vestigial lamp posts on closed exit ramp
10/10/2008 11:40 AM
Vestigial lamp posts on closed exit ramp
Supports for Riverside Drive extension
9/5/2008 11:44 AM
Supports for Riverside Drive extension
Basketball courts under the viaduct at 71st Street
9/5/2008 11:43 AM
Basketball courts under the viaduct at 71st Street
Under the viaduct at 72nd Street
9/5/2008 11:41 AM
Under the viaduct at 72nd Street
Under the viaduct at 70th Street
9/5/2008 11:45 AM
Under the viaduct at 70th Street
Under the viaduct at 70th Street
9/5/2008 11:46 AM
Under the viaduct at 70th Street

The exit from the northbound lanes on to 72nd street was closed in 2007 in order to permit routing of Riverside Drive into the Riverside South development.

West 72nd Street northbound highway exit closed
7/8/2007 08:00 AM
West 72nd Street northbound highway exit closed
Closed 72nd Street exit
7/8/2007 08:01 AM
Closed 72nd Street exit
Closed 72nd Street exit
7/8/2007 08:02 AM
Closed 72nd Street exit
Substructure for extension of Riverside Drive into Riverside South
7/8/2007 08:02 AM
Substructure for extension of Riverside Drive into Riverside South
Townhouses across from the 72nd Street exit
7/8/2007 08:05 AM
Townhouses across from the 72nd Street exit
Closed 72nd Street exit after deck removed
1/22/2008 11:08 AM
Closed 72nd Street exit after deck removed
Substructure of closed 72nd Street exit and new Riverside Boulevard extension
1/22/2008 11:08 AM
Substructure of closed 72nd Street exit and new Riverside Boulevard extension
Deck of Riverside Boulevard extension
4/19/2008 09:19 AM
Deck of Riverside Boulevard extension
Construction of Riverside Drive extension
6/17/2008 11:21 AM
Construction of Riverside Drive extension
Closed 72nd Street exit after deck removed
6/17/2008 11:22 AM
Closed 72nd Street exit after deck removed
Construction of Riverside Drive extension
6/17/2008 11:23 AM
Construction of Riverside Drive extension
Construction of Riverside Drive extension
6/17/2008 11:24 AM
Construction of Riverside Drive extension
Construction of Riverside Drive extension
9/5/2008 11:35 AM
Construction of Riverside Drive extension
Construction of Riverside Drive extension
9/5/2008 11:38 AM
Construction of Riverside Drive extension
Construction of Riverside Drive extension
9/5/2008 11:39 AM
Construction of Riverside Drive extension
Construction of Riverside Drive extension
9/5/2008 11:41 AM
Construction of Riverside Drive extension
Construction of Riverside Drive extension
9/5/2008 11:43 AM
Construction of Riverside Drive extension
Construction of Riverside Drive extension
9/5/2008 11:43 AM
Construction of Riverside Drive extension
Construction of Riverside Drive extension
9/5/2008 11:44 AM
Construction of Riverside Drive extension

The development plan for Riverside South included a rerouting of the Miller Highway into a tunnel through the railyard grounds, leaving the residents of the complex with a nice expanse of parkland and unimpeded views of the river. But although Trump was able to muscle the development into existence over vociferous community opposition, he was not able to convince lawmakers to expend public funds for a tunnel whose primary virtue would be to add value to a luxury housing development. The northernmost buildings were the first to rise and the boulevard in front of them was created over fill that could later be excavated for the tunnel. Development of the buildings and boulevard further south include the tunnel. Once the complex is completed and the renovated viaduct starts to reach the end of its design life in 2025 or so, the tunnel idea will likely be revisited.

Pedestrian path to Riverside South
9/5/2008 11:47 AM
Pedestrian path to Riverside South
Fill north of 65th Street
9/5/2008 12:13 PM
Fill north of 65th Street
The viaduct and Riverside Boulevard converge at 72nd Street
9/5/2008 12:17 PM
The viaduct and Riverside Boulevard converge at 72nd Street
Fill on what will be the highway tunnel
9/5/2008 11:51 AM
Fill on what will be the highway tunnel
Fill north of 65th Street
9/5/2008 12:10 PM
Fill north of 65th Street
Pedestrian path over fill
9/5/2008 12:13 PM
Pedestrian path over fill
Tunnel wall at 64th Street?
9/5/2008 12:09 PM
Tunnel wall at 64th Street?
Tunnel wall at 64th Street
9/5/2008 12:11 PM
Tunnel wall at 64th Street
Tunnel construction at 63rd Street
9/5/2008 12:08 PM
Tunnel construction at 63rd Street
Tunnel construction at 63rd Street
9/5/2008 12:08 PM
Tunnel construction at 63rd Street
Tunnel at 62nd Street
9/1/2008 01:45 PM
Tunnel at 62nd Street
Tunnel at 62nd Street
9/1/2008 01:45 PM
Tunnel at 62nd Street
Tunnel construction equipment
9/1/2008 01:23 PM
Tunnel construction equipment
Riverside South tunnel under construction
10/10/2008 12:01 PM
Riverside South tunnel under construction