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Caution Optional » Blog Archive » LOST: Small highway, answers to name of 9W (Part Two)

Here’s the second part of our thrilling tale. The first part can be found here.

In this installment, I’ll be showing you the roadway as I found it in early March of 2008, 51 years after it last saw traffic.

From the lookout, you can see many of the native eagles and hawks who make the cliff face their home, soaring over the river.
Hudson Hawk

Looking South from the lookout, you can see ‘Indian Head’ (upper right corner of the pic), a rock formation that looks like a man’s face. If you look at the bottom of the picture, you can see what used to be ‘Forest View Park’ (and the Forest View Jetty pilings in the water) - a popular park and beach area built in 1900 but finally abandoned in 1960 (not too many people wanted to go swimming in the Hudson River after WWII). This area is now referred to as the Three Ghosts of Forest View.

Indian Face

Much more after the jump (click on “Continue Reading” below)

Here you can see the Southernmost tip of the abandoned roadway. The paved roadway to the left leads to the overlook parking lot.

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Here’s the roadway looking South towards it’s terminus.

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Looking North towards the Lookout, at the wonderfully preserved concrete roadway, one would never suspect this was anything other than an old sidewalk.

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Here’s what the Lookout Inn looks like today. Enclosed and with the fuel pump island removed.

Lookout Inn

Here’s the roadway plaque, announcing its 1926 inception.

1926 plaque

That first step is a doozy…

FirstStepADoozy

Here’s the view of the unmolested roadway, just North of the overlook. This section of 9W was two lanes, one way (North), so I’m puzzled as to why there’s a double yellow down the middle. The roadway is a bit narrow for two lanes, so perhaps it was a no lane change zone before the MUTCD mandated white for same direction traffic markings? Or maybe in 1957 when they were switching things around prior to closing this section, they temporarily routed Southbound 9W traffic down this road? Regardless, it’s amazingly resilient 50+ year old paint.
double yellow

The square curbing is intact for the remainder of the roadway. Don’t know why I find this surprising.

Curb

All the storm drains were still present and appeared to be in working order (don’t know if the PIP maintains them).

Stormdrain

I’m sure one of the reasons the tree-lined roadway was so readily abandoned was its narrow aspect and low speed curves.  Although, I’m sure that in 1926, this was considered a high speed curve…

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One of the few remaining original guardrails still stands. A six inch square post with a pair of metal stanchions through which thick steel cable ran.

Guardrail

In this picture you can spy one of the CautionOptional support staff measuring the steep grade and planning on coming back during warmer weather with his bicycle.

Steep Grade

If you found this in the least bit interesting, you might want to check out other abandoned roadways. You might find one closer to you than you think.

Although I did recently spy an interesting looking phantom roadway in Staten Island, I have been wanting to check out the available portions of the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike for a while now. The Southern Alleghenies Conservancy purchased these abandoned portions for a dollar and is supposed to be restoring the abandoned Pike and tunnels, but unfortunately that seems doubtful. :-(

Although there is the promise of Pike2Bike.

So check out the links over on the Pennways site, and the even more numerous links over on the generally disturbing Centralia site. Centralia, in case you’ve not heard of it before, is a town in PA that had to be abandoned because of an inextinguishable underground coal fire.

And while writing this blog is as much for my own edification as it is for anyone else’s, I do enjoy getting feedback on it, so please do drop me a line and let me know what you think. Either in the comment section or via the forums.

2 Responses to “LOST: Small highway, answers to name of 9W (Part Two)”

  1. Randy Says:

    My wife and I have been at this rest stop at least a half dozen times and I have always been aware of that ‘abandoned’ road and I even saw a picture of the comfort station in it’s heyday. It’s a particularly great spot to catch a view of northern Manhattan and the Bronx from. I will confess that I have never been past the first lookout point but will be viewing that site with some interest in the future.

    Now as i delved into the links for the abandoned sections of the PA tpke my mouth began to water. There are few things I like more than abandoned infrastructure (the NYC highline comes to mind as does the abandoned spur of the old NYC line that runs thru Van Cortland park). However what grabs my eye next is the Centralia page. I open it and as I begin clicking link after link, the palms of my hands get cold and begin to sweat and for the very first time in my life I experience a feeling dread despite what are some beaucolic and lush verdant pictures. I can almost feel the ghosts of the dying town and wonder why it is impossible to bring a mine fire under control after 45 years. It is a feeling I won’t soon forget.

    Randy

  2. Ian Says:

    Very nice Ed, thanks for the report. Now I want to go there too.

    I’m glad to see I’m the only one who wants to ride down the abandoned PA Turnpike. One thing to note about the old Turnpike, is that it’s in two pieces, one much shorter than the other. One goes through the Laurel Hill Tunnel, and this one is still owned by the PTC, and is still off limits. The other, more well known one goes through the Sideling Hill and Rays Hill Tunnels, and the PTC no longer owns this section, which is supposedly going to become a bike path. (Access will be a pain though, as the PTC just demolished the bridge on one end, and the other end runs into the current Turnpike.)

    On Centralia, it’s definitely an eerie sight, although I’ve yet to get there either. If you’ve ever seen the movie Silent Hill or (for some reason) played the game, they’re based on the old ghost town. The mine fire still rages, mainly because no one is concerned about it now. All but about 7 people have left the town, the abandoned houses were razed as they left. The state’s told them to get out but they won’t budge, so they’re going to be left alone, at least until the ground just falls out from there being no more coal underneath.

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