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The Palisades Interstate Parkway (PIP) is a long limited-access highway in the U.S. states of New Jerseymarker and New Yorkmarker. The parkway is a major commuter route into New York Citymarker from Rocklandmarker and Orangemarker counties in New York and Bergen Countymarker in New Jersey. The southern terminus of the route is at the George Washington Bridgemarker (I-95/US 1-9/US 46 and the end of NJ 4) in Fort Lee, New Jerseymarker. At Exit 18, the PIP forms a concurrency with U.S. Route 6 for the duration of its run. The northern terminus is at a traffic circle in Fort Montgomery, New Yorkmarker, where the PIP connects to U.S. Route 9W and U.S. Route 202 and the Bear Mountain Bridgemarker.

The route is named for the New Jersey Palisadesmarker, a line of cliffs rising along the western side of the Hudson River. In New Jersey, the parkway is designated, but not signed as, Route 445. A short spur in Fort Lee is designated, but not signed as, Route 445S. In New York, the roadway is designated New York State Route 987C, an unsigned reference route. As with most parkways in the New York metropolitan areamarker, commercial traffic is prohibited from using the PIP. The Palisades Interstate Parkway was built from 1947-1958, and fully opened to traffic on August 28, 1958.

Route description

New Jersey

The Palisades Interstate Parkway begins at the George Washington Bridgemarker in Fort Leemarker.Passengers from the upper level of the GWB can directly get on the PIP northbound. Passengers from the lower level of the bridge must travel through north Fort Lee, on US 9W, before getting on the PIP. Passengers riding northbound on the New Jersey Turnpike(I-95) must be in local lanes to directly get on the PIP. It can be a confusing interchange for someone unfamiliar with the arrangement. Construction to fix this problem has been rumored for quite sometime, but nothing has been made official. Once the PIP leaves the GWB, it proceeds north along the New Jersey Palisades, breezing by the Englewood Cliffs Service Area. Unlike service areas further north along the parkway, there are two in Englewood, one for northbound drivers and one for southbound drivers. The others are in the center median shared by drivers going in both directions. There are also three different scenic lookout points over the Palisades about where Manhattan Island begins at the Harlem Rivermarker.After this, the PIP parallels US 9W and the Hudson Riverfor its entire run in New Jersey. In fact, all four exits in New Jersey are either with US 9W, or within mere feet of the route. The PIP leaves New Jersey into New York in the borough of Rockleighmarker.

New York

Welcome to the PIP sign posted at its northern terminus in Orange County

Rockland County

The Palisades enters Rockland Countymarker in the hamlet of Palisadesmarker.At about the border the PIP changes direction from due north along the Hudson River to a north-west direction. Shortly after the Kings Ferry Service Area in the center median, the first two exits in New York are key exits for two colleges in Rockland County. Exit 5 provides a link to St. Thomas Aquinas College, and Exit 6 provides a link to Dominican College. In West Nyackmarker, the PIP has a key interchange with the New York State Thruway (I-87,I-287).This intersection is about two miles (3 km) west of the Tappan Zee Bridgemarker.After the PIP's interchange with the NY Thruway, the PIP turns slightly north-east and its speed limit increases to . From the GWB to the NY Thruway it is exclusively . At Exit 13, the PIP intersects US 202 as the route crosses south of Harriman State Parkmarker in Mount Ivymarker.This is the first of two meetings between the PIP and US 202. At Exit 15, the PIP has its last busy intersection in Rockland County with Old NY Route 210in Stony Point. From here, the PIP enters Harriman State Park, and at Exit 16, the PIP intersects Lake Welch Parkway, which is one of several parkways commissioned within the park.
The Palisades Interstate Parkway's northern terminus in Fort Montgomery, New York

Orange County

The Palisades enters Orange Countymarker north of Lake Welch Parkway at Exit 16 and south of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission Visitor Center, which is located in the center median because it was originally a parkway service area.The first interchange in Orange County is Exit 17 at Anthony Wayne Recreation Area. At Exit 18, the PIP intersects US 6and Seven Lakes Drive. US 6 west heads toward the New York Thruway and NY 17 five miles (8 km) west in Harrimanmarker.US 6 east forms a concurrency with the PIP for the last two miles (3 km) of the PIP's run. Seven Lakes Drive joins the two routes for one mile (1.6 km) before departing at Exit 19. The two routes then enter Bear Mountain State Parkmarker in an eastern direction.Finally, the Palisades Interstate Parkway meets its end at US 9W/US 202 at a traffic circle inches from the Hudson River and the Bear Mountain Bridgemarker.US 6 and 202 head east over the bridge, while US 9W heads north toward the United States Military Academymarker in West Point.


In 1933-34, the first thoughts of a Palisades Interstate Parkway were developed by William A. Welch. The plan was to build a parkway to connect the New Jersey Palisades with the state parks along the Hudson River in Rockland and Orange Counties. Welch would soon garner the support of John D.Rockefeller, who donated of land along the New Jersey Palisades overlooking the Hudson River. With this favorable momentum for the new route, the proposed route was accepted as a Civil Works Administration project under Franklin D.Roosevelt's New Deal coalition. However, the New Jersey Highway Commission did not support construction, so the idea of a parkway was put on hold.

During the 1940s, Rockefeller renewed the push for a parkway along the New Jersey Palisades, and teamed with ultimate PIP planner, Robert Moses, to establish and design the parkway. The plan originally was to have the PIP stretch from the Garden State Parkway, along the Hudson River, to the George Washington Bridgemarker, and then north along its present-day route ending at the Bear Mountain Bridgemarker.This southern extension was never built, but construction began on the current PIP in New York on April 1, 1947. Construction on the New Jersey portion began about one year later.

Construction was delayed twice due to material shortages, but that did not stop the PIP from being opened in stages during the 1940s and 1950s. The route was completed in New Jersey in 1957, and on August 28, 1958, the final piece of the PIP was completed between exits 5 and 9 in southern Rockland County.

Shortly after completion of the PIP, the parkway's interchange with U.S.Route 6was upgraded to include what is known as Queensboro Circle. Queensburo Circle is located just off of Exit 18 of the PIP. The exiting driver must proceed to this one of many traffic-circles within Bear Mountain State Parkmarker and Harriman State Parkmarker before getting off on U.S.6's Long Mountain Spur or Seven Lakes Drive. In the early days of the parkway, the PIP originally had posted speed limits of , but now are posted between with additional lanes added in higher traveled areas.

The PIP is a favorite means to access the Catskill Mountains in Sullivan County, New York from New York City. Travellers take the PIP to the New York State Thruway, then on to Route 17 which is exit sixteen of the Thruway. Due to the huge number of hasidic travellers, particularly in the summer months, the PIP has developed a friendly, multi-cultural tone to it. Its rest stops offer regular commuter fare side by side with hasidic labelled kosher foods. Latinos from The Bronx and uptown Manhattan also use this route as a means of travelling to Rockland Lake and Harriman State Park on day trips because of their close proximity to the city, especially during the summer.

The PIP is well known for its stone arch overpasses throughout its route and its several scenic overlooks in New Jersey. All sorts of unique trees and flowers, can be seen along the route as well. In 1998, because of all the natural and constructed beauty, the PIP was designated as a national landmark by the National Park Service.


Currently the Palisades Interstate Parkway can only be reached directly via the upper level of the George Washington Bridgemarker.Those traveling on the lower level must take the exit for US 9W, and travel through northern Fort Leemarker to reach the PIP.The Port Authorityplans to construct ramps to directly connect the lower level to the PIP. Originally, this was to take place anywhere between 2005 and 2009, but has been postponed with no future date scheduled as of now.

Exit list

Within New Jersey, the New Jersey Turnpikeis the only other highway to use sequentialexit numbering; all others are based on mileage, except for one road in Atlantic City that uses lettered exits (no numerals).


Further reading

  • Myles, William J., Harriman Trails, A Guide and History, The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, New York, N.Y., 1999.

External links

NJmarker 11.48 18.48
NYmarker 26.77 43.08
Total 38.25 61.56
Fort Leemarker
I-95 north / US 1/9 north (George Washington Bridgemarker) – New York Citymarker, Long Islandmarker, New Englandmarker
Southbound exit and northbound entrance
George Washington Bridge toll plaza (southbound)
Myrtle Avenue
Southbound exit and entrance
Fort Lee Spur; southbound exit and northbound entrance; to I-95 (New Jersey Turnpike) south and US 1/9 south
Englewood Cliffsmarker
– Englewood Boat Basin

New Jerseymarker-New Yorkmarker state line
town line
New York Citymarker, Albanymarker, Montrealmarker
New Hempsteadmarker
town line
Haverstrawmarker, Suffernmarker
Stony Pointmarker
Letchworth Village
, Lake Kanawauke
Former routing of NY 210; passenger cars only north of this point
Lake Welch Parkway
No northbound entrance
Palisades Interstate Park Commission Visitor Center
Left exit; former service area
Anthony Wayne Recreation Area
US 6 west (Long Mountain Parkway) / Seven Lakes Drive west
US 6 and Seven Lakes Drive join eastbound and leave westbound
Seven Lakes Drive east to Perkins Memorial Drive
Seven Lakes Drive leaves eastbound and joins westbound
Traffic circle; US 6 leaves eastbound and joins westbound

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