Interstate 95 runs a brief stint in the New York City area, starting from George Washington Bridge connecting Fort Lee in nearby New Jersey to Upper Manhattan. However, most of its route goes through The Bronx before entering the Westchester area and eventually the state of Connecticut after exit 14. The route also has a few auxillary routes in the New York City area (three very short, one long).
Most travelers use the route to travel through New York state from New Jersey to Connecticut and vice versa. There are some that use it to navigate around The Bronx.
Route description and exit analysisEdit
George Washington BridgeEdit
Travelers that cross the George Washington Bridge either come from NJTP (New Jersey Turnpike and I-95), the Palisades Parkway (that goes through Upstate NY and Bear Mountain), and Route 4 (that goes through some suburbs and Paramus).
The bridge is also unique to the New York City area. The bridge is a double-decker suspension bridge. Travelers and trucks can take the upper level. Cars are the only ones allowed on the lower level. The GWB is also a tolled bridge. Toll plazas on the New Jersey side make crossing the bridge cost $13. After paying the toll, I-95 enters the New York metropolitan area. The bridge is also loathed as it is heavily congested during rush hour.
Exit 1: Henry Hudson Pkwy and W 178 StreetEdit
The first exit encountered on the New York section of I-95 (can be both accessed by the upper and lower level of the bridge) is a interchange on the Henry Hudson Parkway (one of New York's named freeways). In short, Henry Hudson Parkway is a direct continuation of the West Side Highway (this time without any at-grade intersections). The parkway skirts the western edge of Manhattan before crossing over to the Bronx mainland. It eventually ends and is renamed to Saw Mill River Parkway before entering Westchester County.
W 178 Street and W 181 Street on the other hand is one of the two exits that provide access to the northern edge of Manhattan. The exit is primary used to access Hudson Heights, Washington Heights and the Inwood neighborhoods. The northern reaches of Manhattan is the least populated of the Manhattan borough (more people live on the other side of the Hudson River, The Bronx).
Exit 2: Harlem River Drive / Amsterdam Avenue and University AvenueEdit
At this point, the collector/distributor lanes from the lower level will eventually merge into one when crossing the Alexander Hamilton Bridge to The Bronx. Both levels have access to this exit. The primary use is to get on Harlem River Drive heading south skirting the eastern edge of Manhattan, going to the more popular neighborhoods of the borough and Harlem. Harlem River Drive is a short named freeway as it will eventually encounter the I-278 connector and be renamed to FDR Drive.
Amsterdam Avenue is also the last exit for Manhattan on I-95. Amsterdam Avenue primarily runs through northern Manhattan. Although it is a long artery, the road does not provide access to the Inwood neighborhood (the direct access to Inwood would be going Harlem River Drive north to Dyckman Street).
University Avenue is misleading however. Hanging onto the University Avenue ramp after taking exit 2 will curve you onto the Washington Bridge which is parallel to the Alexander Hamilton Bridge. University Avenue is actually located on the other side of the river, known as The Bronx.
At this point, I-95 goes over the Hudson River via Alexander Hamilton Bridge and enters the borough which I-95 will be mostly traveling on the New York section, the Bronx.