Major Deegan Expressway (Mott Haven section) – Bronx NY


Constructed as the ‘westerly approach’ road in conjunction with development of the Triborough Bridge, the Mott Haven component of what is now the Major Deegan Expressway was enabled by the provision of New Deal funds. The Public Works Administration supplied a $2,434,500 grant for the project, whose total cost was reported in one document as $5,084,543. The construction, which occurred from 1937 to 1939, forced the relocation of residents who lived along the route between E 134th and E 135th Streets.

The New York Times (Apr. 30, 1939):

The approach, which is officially called the Major William F. Deegan Boulevard, was hailed by the speakers not only as a traffic artery which will relieve congestion in the South Bronx but as a slum clearance project. For where there is now a six-lane road of reinforced concrete there were, three years ago, 500 slum dwellings housing 30,000 persons.

The new traffic artery, built at a cost of $14,000,000, begins at 140th Street and Mott Avenue and running along 134th Street joins the Triborough Bridge at Cypress Avenue. The construction work itself, in which roughly 45,000 cubic yards of concrete were poured, cost $5,410,000. Of this amount 45 per cent was defrayed by a Federal grant [the PWA grant referenced earlier]. Motirists will be able to get to the World’s Fair within fifteen minutes after they reach the approach.

PWA Docket No. NY [W]1512.

Source notes

National Archives: Record Group 135: Public Works Administration; Projects Control Division; Entry 52: Indices to Non-Federal Projects; Report No. 5: Status of All Completed Non-Federal Allotted Projects, page 27.

The New York Times: "$2,434,500 BRIDGE GRANT: PWA Allots Fund for Triborough Span Link From West Bronx," Oct. 10, 1936.
The New York Times: "BRONX FAMILIES GET STAY: Lyons Arranges for Several in Bridge Path to Remain Till Jan. 4," Dec. 10, 1936.
The New York Times: "BRIDGE APPROACH IN BRONX IS READY; Road Leading to Triborough Span Officially Opened by the Mayor," April 30, 1939.

Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish on March 6, 2018.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

Major Deegan Expressway
Bronx, NY

Coordinates: 40.806440, -73.923512

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