Freeways Without Futures

Read the full article HERE.

CNU advocates for replacing urban freeways with surface streets, boulevards and avenues as the most cost-effective, sustainable option for cities grappling with aging grade separated roads. This has the added benefit of providing significant opportunities to heal local street networks and improve regional traffic dispersion. As federal and state DOTs confront shrinking budgets, and cities look for ways to increase their tax base and revenues, community and political support is building for connected street grids and improved transit options that are less expensive to maintain and offer better alternatives to the rebuilding of urban freeways.

The 2014 Freeways Without Futures Report lists the top opportunities in North America for replacing aging urban highways with boulevards or avenues that connect to the networks of streets. They are presented in no particular order of rank. As in previous reports, the criteria for the 2014 list is based on a number of factors: the age and design of structures, redevelopment potential, potential cost savings, ability to improve both overall mobility and local access, existence of pending infrastructure decisions, and community support.

You can also download a PDF of the full report.

A longer list of potential freeway to boulevard transformations is also tracked in CNU’s Freeways Without a Future database. If you know a freeway that warrants consideration as an urban revitalization opportunity – please contact Alex McKeag, CNU Program Manager, at

  I-10/Claiborne Overpass, New Orleans
  I-81, Syracuse, New York
  Gardiner Expressway, Toronto 
  Route 5/Skyway, Buffalo
  Inner Loop, Rochester New York
  I-70, St. Louis
  I-280, San Francisco
  I-375, Detroit
  Terminal Island Freeway, Long Beach
  Aetna Viaduct, Hartford