1970s NYC Environmentalists Put a Screeching Halt to 6-Lane West Side Highway

People demonstrating against the Westway highway project, New York City, July 6, 1977
People demonstrating against the Westway highway project, New York City, July 6, 1977
Photo: Robert Swirsy
Proposed Landfill Space For Westway Plans
Proposed Landfill Space For Westway Plans

The clash between big business elites and green-seeking environmentalists is not a 21st century development. Back in 1974, plans to turn Manhattan’s West Side into Westway, a waterfront parkway, were passionately denied by New Yorkers.

Westway was the ambitious plan, finalized in 1974, to replace the rotting piers along four miles of the West Side with 220 acres of landfill while burying a six lane highway underneath. Above, one hundred acres of urban parkland would embrace houses, shops, and offices.

Check out this great article to learn more about Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s highway that never was.

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