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Conduit Avenue (Conduit Boulevard in Brooklyn) is an arterial road in New York City, the vast majority of which is in Queens. The divided highway runs from Atlantic Avenue in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn to Hook Creek Boulevard in Rosedale, Queens at the Nassau County border. The thoroughfare is named after an aqueduct in its right-of-way.

Conduit Avenue
Conduit Boulevard
North / South Conduit Avenue
Wide median strip at the Brooklyn-Queens border
Wide median strip at the Brooklyn-Queens border
NamesakeRidgewood Aqueduct
OwnerCity of New York
Maintained byNYSDOT and NYCDOT
Length8.0 mi[1] (12.9 km)
LocationBrooklyn and Queens, New York City
West endAtlantic Avenue in Cypress Hills
NY 27 (Linden Boulevard) in Lindenwood
NY 878 / Belt Parkway in South Ozone Park
I-678 in South Ozone Park
JFK Expressway in South Ozone Park
Belt Parkway in Laurelton
East end NY 27 / Hook Creek Boulevard in Rosedale

Conduit Avenue and Conduit Boulevard were conceived in 1921 as part of the Conduit Highway, later the Sunrise Highway, with the original highway opening in 1929. The highway was expanded in 1940 as part of the construction of the Belt Parkway. The Brooklyn section was originally supposed to host Interstate 78 within its median, but this section was ultimately not built.


Conduit Avenue and Conduit Boulevard are named for the conduit of the Brooklyn Waterworks, which fed Ridgewood Reservoir. The roads were constructed on the former right-of-way of the aqueduct.[2][3] The conduit was known as the Ridgewood Aqueduct.[4]


West of Cross Bay Boulevard, Conduit Boulevard has a wide, grassy median strip and runs adjacent to a number of parks with playgrounds. Conduit Boulevard serves as the boundary between the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Cypress Hills and City Line, and the Queens neighborhoods of Ozone Park and Lindenwood.[1] Between the Shore Parkway and the Laurelton Parkway, Conduit Avenue serves as the service road for Southern Parkway. East of Brookville Boulevard, South Conduit Avenue parallels the Montauk Branch of the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and continues as Sunrise Highway in Valley Stream. At 225th Street, North Conduit Avenue diverges to the north to Hook Creek Boulevard, while the Sunrise Highway merges into the avenue to the south.[1]

Conduit Avenue is designated as New York State Route 27 between Linden Boulevard and the Nassau County border and accommodates car, bus and truck traffic. Westbound vehicles use the roadway named North Conduit Avenue; eastbound vehicles use South Conduit Avenue.[1] At various times the road has been used as a drag strip, particularly in Rosedale.[5]

The western segment of the highway, between Atlantic Avenue and Cross Bay Boulevard, was originally slated to be the eastern part of a planned, but never built, Bushwick Expressway. That highway was proposed to run from the Williamsburg Bridge through Williamsburg, Bushwick and East New York before feeding into the Belt Parkway.[6][7]


The intersection of Conduit Boulevard and Sutter Avenue, on the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn-Queens border.

The original Brooklyn Waterworks brick conduit stretched from Long Island to the Ridgewood Pumping Station, now the site of City Line Park, in East New York.[8][9][10] There, the water was pushed via a steam-powered pump north through a "force tube" into the Ridgewood Reservoir;[4][9][11] the route of this tube is now Force Tube Avenue.[12] The reservoir was opened in 1858, and the pumping station in 1886.[4][10] The aqueduct was located on the north side of what is now Conduit Avenue, and was built on a right-of-way that had not been developed at the time.[4] When the City of Brooklyn was consolidated as a borough of New York City in 1898, New York City gained possession of the Brooklyn Waterworks' assets, including the reservoir and its 25-mile (40 km) long aqueduct stretching to Massapequa in Nassau County. At this time, the right-of-way was still largely undeveloped, with the conduits located underground.[8][3] Both Force Tube Avenue and Conduit Avenue were laid out and paved by the 1910s.[13][14]

Plans to construct a highway along the conduit path emerged around 1913.[15][16] In 1921, the New York State Legislature signed a bill to construct a highway along the right-of-way known as Conduit Highway, ending in Amityville. The route included both Conduit Avenue and the Sunrise Highway.[8][3] The original plans called for a grade-separated parkway,[15] but the route was later designed to be 30 feet (9.1 m) to 40 feet (12 m) wide.[6][8][3] The highway was planned to relieve congestion on Merrick Road/Merrick Boulevard.[2] Construction began on the highway in 1924[2] or 1925.[17] In conjunction with the project, what was then Linden Avenue was extended east from Kings Highway to Conduit Boulevard, becoming Linden Boulevard.[18] The highway was referred to by various names including Conduit Boulevard and Pipe Line Boulevard.[2] By 1928, the entire stretch from Brooklyn to Amityville was officially named the Sunrise Highway, following efforts by the Long Island Chamber of Commerce.[2] The label Conduit was deemed "an unattractive one and quite meaningless." The Sunrise Highway name, meanwhile, was reference to the nickname for Long Island, "Land of the Sunrise Trails".[19] The entire highway was opened on June 9, 1929. An inauguration ceremony was held at Liberty Avenue in Brooklyn.[20] In 1931, the city planned to extend Conduit Boulevard north to Jamaica Avenue along Force Tube Avenue, which would require condemning property along the avenue in order to widen it, but this never took place.[21]

The Southern Parkway in Springfield Gardens, built along the Conduit corridor.

In the early 1930s, it was proposed to convert the Conduit Boulevard route between Linden Boulevard and Laurelton Boulevard/Brookville Boulevard into a state parkway, with North and South Conduit Avenues created as service roads for the parkway. The purpose of the project was to create express highway links between Brooklyn and Long Island, via Linden Boulevard, Sunrise Highway, and the Southern State Parkway.[17][15][22] The original 1931 plans, known as the Southern State Parkway extension, called for an arterial road adjacent to the existing narrow Sunrise Highway.[23][24] Later plans called for a parkway.[15][22] As early as July 1934, land was acquired via eminent domain to widen Conduit Boulevard and build the new parkway.[6][15][22] The project would become the Southern Parkway section of the Belt Parkway, which would connect to the Belt system's Laurelton Parkway at Brookville Boulevard and feed into the Southern State Parkway.[11][22][25][26][27] In justifying the conversion of the Conduit route into part of the Belt system, NYC Parks commissioner Robert Moses cited the "approximately 10,000,000 cars" traveling the route on an annual basis, and the need for a highway link between Brooklyn and Long Island to create "the ultimate circumferential boulevard."[28]

North and South Conduit Avenue were constructed as service roads along with the Southern Parkway.[22] Shortly after the opening of the Belt Parkway system in 1940,[29] Conduit Boulevard west of the parkway was expanded into a six-lane highway, with the right-of-way widened to create the grassy median. The project was undertaken in conjunction with the widening of Atlantic Avenue and grade separation of the LIRR Atlantic Branch.[30][31]

The median of Conduit Avenue (pictured) would have been used for the Bushwick Expressway.

Around 1954, officials proposed constructing the Bushwick Expressway as part of I-78, between Williamsburg Bridge and the Nassau Expressway (NY 878).[32] The expressway would have utilized Broadway, Bushwick Avenue, and the Conduit Boulevard/Avenue corridor within Brooklyn.[33][34] The widened median of Conduit Boulevard would have facilitated the expressway.[7] An alternate routing proposed in the 1960s by the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (TBTA) would have traveled slightly farther north, connecting to the Long Island Expressway (I-495) in western Queens.[35][36][37] The Bushwick Expressway was opposed due to the necessary destruction of residences and businesses in Brooklyn in Queens;[38] the TBTA estimated that nearly 4,000 families would be displaced by the expressway.[36] The Bushwick Expressway plan was later truncated[37][39][40] and later dropped entirely in 1969.[37][41][42] Governor Nelson Rockefeller eliminated the expressway from the state's construction plans in March 1971.[43]

In 2000, NYC Parks published a report in which it proposed constructing a bikeway and horse trail within the large grassy median of Conduit Boulevard. The trails would be part of a greenway along the southern and eastern edges of Queens, running from East New York, Brooklyn, along the Laurelton Parkway and Cross Island Parkway to Bayside, Queens.[44] The greenway itself had been proposed in the 1990s. However, as of 2017, the full greenway had not been constructed due to disagreements within the Howard Beach community.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d Google (January 9, 2017). "Conduit Avenue" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e "SUNRISE HIGHWAY LONG ISLAND BOON; Provides Traffic and Realty Benefits for Queens and Nassau Counties". The New York Times. April 29, 1928. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d "New Long Island Highway" (PDF). The New York Times. July 17, 1921. Retrieved October 11, 2009.
  4. ^ a b c d Nassau Expressway Construction, New York City: Environmental Impact Statement. United States Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, New York State Department of Transportation. 1981. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
  5. ^ Herszenhorn, David M. (August 28, 1995). "Officers Arrest 18 and Seize Cars in Drag Racing Sting Operation in Queens". The New York Times. Retrieved October 11, 2009.
  6. ^ a b c Marzlock, Ron (September 17, 2015). "Where the narrow old Conduit met Cross Bay Blvd". Queens Chronicle. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c Rafter, Domenick (March 27, 2014). "Howard Beach unsure about greenway plan". Queens Chronicle. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  8. ^ a b c d "Bringing the Center of Long Island an Hour Closer to New York: New Proposed Conduit Highway on City-Owned Property Would Relieve Congestion on South Shore Roads". Motor Travel. Automobile Club of America. 13 (1). April 1921. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Edwin G. Burrows; Mike Wallace (November 19, 1998). Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898. Oxford University Press. p. 837. ISBN 978-0-19-972910-4. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  10. ^ a b "City Line Park: History". New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  11. ^ a b Kadinsky, Sergey (2016). Hidden Waters of New York City: A History and Guide to 101 Forgotten Lakes, Ponds, Creeks, and Streams in the Five Boroughs. Countryman Press. p. 201. ISBN 978-1-58157-566-8.
  12. ^ Boland, Ed, Jr. (July 21, 2002). "F.Y.I.". The New York Times. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  13. ^ "Changing the Map or Plan of the City of New York by Laying Out Force Tube Avenue, From Jamaica Avenue to Dinsmore Place, Borough of Brooklyn". Minutes of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment of the City of New York. New York City Board of Estimate, M.B. Brown Printing & Binding Company: 2957. November 9, 1911. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  14. ^ "Local Improvements". Proceedings of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment of the City of New York. New York City Board of Estimate. 4: 3359–3360. June 9, 1916. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  15. ^ a b c d e "Plans Ready for Extension of Highway: Sunrise Development Will Be Considered on July 30". Long Island Daily Press. July 21, 1934. p. 7. Retrieved March 3, 2017 – via
  16. ^ "New Map Adopted: Marks Important Step in Queens Borough Development". The New York Times. June 1, 1913. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  17. ^ a b "5 New Factors Seen Boosting Sunrise Hwy: Increased Utility for Artery Predicted After Improvements". Long Island Daily Press. May 22, 1932. p. 24. Retrieved March 3, 2017 – via
  18. ^ Wilhem, Carl (November 2, 1924). "City Can Start on Conduit Boulevard in a Week, Says Riegelmann; $2,000,000 Linden Boulevard Link Awaits Shovels; Nassau Cash Ready, but City Holds Back". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. p. C1. Retrieved February 27, 2017 – via
  19. ^ "Dobson Asks Civics Aid on Proposal". Long Island Daily Press. March 10, 1928. Retrieved March 3, 2017 – via
  20. ^ "LONG ISLAND OPENS SUNRISE HIGHWAY; 300 Motors Parade 26 Miles From Brooklyn to Amityville in Celebration". The New York Times. June 9, 1929. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  21. ^ "Protests Local Levy Plan for Sunrise Link: Taxpayers Object to Full Condemnation Cost on Force Tube Avenue". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. March 3, 1931. p. 19. Retrieved February 28, 2017 – via
  22. ^ a b c d e "Final Plans Drafted for New Parkway: Sunrise Highway Improvement to Take Several Years". Long Island Daily Press. January 25, 1937. p. 5. Retrieved March 3, 2017 – via
  23. ^ "Two Road Plans Are Approved: State and City Would Join in Long Island Scheme". The Sun (New York). September 17, 1931. p. 12. Retrieved March 3, 2017 – via
  24. ^ "URGES EXTENSION OF 2 QUEENS DRIVES". The New York Times. September 16, 1931. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  25. ^ "Work is Started on Parkway Span". The Nassau Daily Review. April 29, 1935. Retrieved March 3, 2017 – via
  26. ^ Ritchie, George (December 7, 1937). "Moses Plans Parkways Into Heart of City; Proposal Would Link Up Huge Westchester and Long Island Systems". The Sun (New York). pp. 1, 17. Retrieved March 3, 2017 – via
  27. ^ Ritchie, George (December 7, 1937). "Moses Plans Parkways Into Heart of City; Proposal Would Link Up Huge Westchester and Long Island Systems". The Sun (New York). pp. 1, 17. Retrieved March 3, 2017 – via
  28. ^ "Traffic Arteries to Cost $7,880,000". The New York Times. February 19, 1938. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  29. ^ "Belt Road To Open to Traffic Today". The New York Times. June 29, 1940. p. 12.
  30. ^ "MOSES ASKS FUNDS FOR BELT ROAD LINK; Will Submit to Mayor Today Plan for Widening Conduit Blvd. at $2,200,000". The New York Times. June 16, 1941. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  31. ^ "2 Million Sought By Moses For Highway Link: Would Widen Conduit Blvd.-Atlantic Ave. Project Ready in 1942" (PDF). Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 16, 1941. p. 20. Retrieved February 27, 2017 – via
  32. ^ Grutzner, Charles (October 7, 1954). "UPER UNIT URGED FOR CITY SERVICES". The New York Times. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  33. ^ New York City (Map). Rand McNally and Company. 1960. Retrieved April 15, 2010. Note that I-95 is shown on the Hutchinson River Parkway north of the Bruckner Interchange, but the 1955 "Yellow Book" map shows the route on the Bruckner Expressway.
  34. ^ "Expressway Plans". Regional Plan News. Regional Plan Association (73–74): 1–18. May 1964. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  35. ^ "Moses Urges 3d Queens Tunnel, With Condition: Asserts It Would Be Useless Without City Approval of 2 Expressway Links". The New York Times. June 10, 1963. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  36. ^ a b Kessler, Felix (June 18, 1963). "Dream Road Links Nothing" (PDF). Brooklyn World-Telegram. p. B1. Retrieved February 27, 2017 – via
  37. ^ a b c "Broadway Junction Transportation Study: NYC Department of City Planning Final Report-November 2008" (PDF). New York City Department of City Planning. November 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 6, 2010. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  38. ^ "Some Good News..." (PDF). New York Recorder. July 9, 1966. p. 5. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  39. ^ "Less Driving Into Manhattan". The New York Times. September 15, 1966. p. 42. Retrieved April 14, 2010.
  40. ^ Clarity, James F. (April 26, 1967). "U.S. Aid Is Quietly Pledged For Cross Brooklyn Expressway". The New York Times. p. 35. Retrieved April 14, 2010.
  41. ^ Carroll, Maurice (July 17, 1969). "Mayor Drops Plans For Express Roads Across 2 Boroughs". The New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved April 14, 2010.
  42. ^ Roberts, Sam (October 7, 1985). "The Legacy of Westway: Lessons from Its Demise". The New York Times. p. A1. Retrieved April 14, 2010.
  43. ^ Cliness, Francis X. (March 25, 1971). "Lower Manhattan Road Killed Under State Plan". The New York Times. p. 78. Retrieved April 14, 2010.
  44. ^ "Greenway Master Plan: Conduit-Southern Queens-Laurelton-Cross Island" (PDF). New York City Department of City Planning, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. July 2000. pp. 2, 6. Retrieved February 27, 2017.

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