2. It Was Almost A Part Of Interstate 78
Red route highlights where the LOMEX would have gone. Image from Library of Congress
Among many of visionary infrastructure plans designed by Robert Moses in the mid 20th century, one of them was the Lower Manhattan Expressway (LOMEX), or Interstate 78. The plan would have connected the Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges to the Holland Tunnel, cutting through SoHo and Little Italy. So had this expressway been realized, the Williamsburg Bridge would have obtained Interstate 78 designation.
The plans were canceled in 1971, but during the 1960s and early 70s, directional signs for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE, or I-278) posted I-78 signs for the Williamsburg.
For more on the LOMEX, see The NYC That Never Was: Robert Moses’ Lower Manhattan Expressway