In 1937 when the IND subway was builtand opened on Queens Boulevard, hundreds of residents from Briarwood and Kew Gardens drove their cars to the north side of Queens Boulevard and Main Street each morning, parked them and took the new subway into Manhattan for a nickel.
By 1950, with the construction of the new Van Wyck Expressway under way, a plan had to be made to connect Main Street with it.A bold plan by Robert Moses was devised to boreMain Street into the new expressway.
Practically new English Tudor homes, built a decade earlier by the Wolosoff Brotherson the service road of the Grand Central Parkway, Coolidge and Hoover avenues, were torn down under New York States’ eminent domain laws to acquire the necessary amount of land to make the connection.
To bypass Queens Boulevard traffic,an underpass was built at Manton Street. The parking lot shown here — once a favorite stop of the working commuters — was also seized and made into a depressed ramp leading into the service road of the Van Wyck Expressway. The auto shop building in the far left of the photo today is the famous Flagship Diner at 138-40 Queens Blvd.
The underpass, bridge and connection was finished and opened to the public in a ribbon cutting ceremony in 1954. An overhaul of the Manton Street underpass bridge was recently completed after 50 years of punishmentby trucks and cars and has since reopened with heavy traffic as usual.