Open main menu

Interstate 490 (I-490) is an auxiliary Interstate Highway that serves the city of Rochester, New York, in the United States. It acts as a northerly alternate route to the New York State Thruway (I-90), leaving it at exit 47 in the town of Le Roy and rejoining the highway at exit 45 in the town of Victor 37.40 miles (60.19 km) to the east. I-490 connects with I-390 and New York State Route 390 (NY 390) on the western side of Rochester and I-590 and NY 590 on the east side of the city at an interchange known as the Can of Worms. The highway comprises the southernmost portion of the Inner Loop, a beltway around the interior of Rochester. Outside of the city, I-490 serves several suburban villages, such as Churchville and Pittsford.

Interstate 490 marker

Interstate 490
Map of the Rochester, New York, area with I-490 highlighted in red
Route information
Auxiliary route of I-90
Maintained by NYSDOT
Length37.40 mi[5] (60.19 km)
Existedc. 1961[1][2]–present
HistoryCompleted early 1970s[3][4]
Major junctions
West end I-90 / New York Thruway in Le Roy
East end I-90 / New York Thruway in Victor
CountiesGenesee, Monroe, Ontario
Highway system
NY 488I-495

The eastern half of the freeway, named the Eastern Expressway, was built in stages from the 1950s to the 1970s as a connector between the Inner Loop and the Thruway, and the section west of the Inner Loop and Downtown Rochester to (I-90) in Le Roy is known as the Western Expressway. From downtown Rochester to the Can of Worms, it follows the former right-of-way of the Rochester Subway and, before it, the Erie Canal. The section west of the Inner Loop was mostly built during the 1960s and completed in the early 1970s. During the 1950s and early 1960s, the portion of the Eastern Expressway from what is now the Can of Worms east to Bushnell's Basin was originally designated as part of NY 96. That route was moved back onto its parallel surface routing c. 1961 when I-490 was assigned to the entirety of the then-proposed Le Roy–Victor freeway.


Route descriptionEdit

I-490 eastbound west of Downtown Rochester in the final stages of the Western Gateway project

Heading northeast from exit 47 of the New York State Thruway (I-90), I-490 passes through rural portions of eastern Genesee County and western Monroe County, skirting the villages of Bergen and Churchville. Gradually, the expressway takes a more easterly alignment near exit 3 before returning to the northeast at exit 4. At exit 6, I-490 intersects the Airport Expressway (NY 204). Past this interchange, I-490 heads due north, connecting to NY 33 and NY 531 before returning east. Prior to crossing the Erie Canal, I-490 meets NY 390 and I-390. Beyond the junction lies the canal and the city of Rochester.[6]

Between the Mount Read Boulevard interchange at exit 10 and the Genesee River, I-490 is referred to as the "Western Gateway". This section, which saw major decorative and structural improvements in the late 2000s,[7] travels due east through heavily residential neighborhoods before turning to the southeast near Frontier Field and a junction with the Inner Loop at exit 13. Just west of this point, I-490 passes over West Broad Street (NY 31) and close to the former Rochester terminal of the Buffalo, Rochester, and Pittsburgh Railway, which now houses Nick Tahou Hots.[6]

I-490 now becomes part of the Inner Loop as it passes just south of the city center and heads toward the Genesee River. I-490 crosses both the river and NY 383 by way of the Frederick Douglass–Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge and connects to NY 15 before leaving the Inner Loop[6] and turning south and east to follow the former pathway of the Erie Canal[8] and the Rochester Subway through the east side of the city.[9] Along this stretch, I-490 connects to NY 31 (now part of Monroe Avenue) and passes north of Cobbs Hill Reservoir and the surrounding Cobbs Hill Park.[6]

I-490 westbound at the Can of Worms

I-490 continues to run in the former bed until exit 21,[8] where I-490 connects to NY 590 and I-590 at an interchange known locally as the Can of Worms.[6] At this point, the former Erie Canal route (now part of I-590) curves southward[8] while I-490 continues eastward into the eastern suburbs of Rochester. Between exits 21 and 24, I-490 parallels the CSX Transportation-owned Rochester Subdivision rail line, intersecting NY 441, a four-lane divided highway in the process. South of exit 25, I-490 traverses the southeastern suburbs of Rochester, passing close to East Rochester, Pittsford and Bushnell's Basin and closely paralleling NY 96 on its way toward the Ontario County line. The freeway meets NY 96 twice in Perinton and a third time in the Ontario County town of Victor, where I-490 passes along the western fringe of Eastview Mall. I-490 ends a short distance southeast of the third NY 96 interchange at Thruway exit 45.[6]


The portion of I-490 from exit 15 southeast to the Can of Worms follows the original path of the Erie Canal through the city of Rochester.[8] After the canal was rerouted to bypass Rochester in 1920, the former canal bed was purchased by the city for roughly $1.5 million (equivalent to $18.8 million in 2019).[9][10] Plans drawn up by the city in the early 1910s called for a highway to be built in the old canal bed; however, subsequent proposals leaned toward repurposing the bed as a rapid transit system instead. The Rochester Subway, as it became known, began operation in 1927. As ridership on the line declined in the 1940s and early 1950s, the city elected to shut the subway down in 1956 and use the right-of-way for a new highway connecting the Inner Loop to the recently completed New York State Thruway south of Rochester.[9]

Construction of the Eastern Expressway, a limited-access highway connecting the Inner Loop to the Thruway in Victor, began in the early 1950s with the first section extending from NY 96 in Bushnell's Basin to NY 31F near East Rochester.[11][12] It was completed by 1956 and originally designated as part of NY 96.[13] An extension northwest to the present site of the Can of Worms was opened to traffic by the following year.[14] The expressway remained part of NY 96 until c. 1961 when it was designated as part of I-490, a proposed route extending westward through downtown Rochester and southwestward through the western suburbs to Thruway exit 47 in Le Roy. The portion of the highway between the Inner Loop and Winton Road was completed in the old subway cut by this time,[1][2] while the segment between Winton Road and the Can of Worms was opened c. 1963.[15][16]

Work on the portion of I-490 west of the Inner Loop began c. 1962 and initially extended from NY 259 in Chili to Mount Read Boulevard 2 miles (3.2 km) west of downtown.[2][15] This section was completed by the following year.[16] The remainder of the freeway west of Rochester was opened to traffic as far west as NY 36 near Churchville c. 1965[17][18] and finished by 1968.[19] The last two gaps in the freeway—from Mount Read Boulevard east to the Inner Loop in Rochester and from Bushnell's Basin southeast to the Thruway in Pittsford and Victor—were filled in the early 1970s.[3][4]

The planned construction of the Inner Loop (now part of I-490) through the Corn Hill district of downtown Rochester just west of the Genesee River was the driving factor that led the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) to relocate to its present location in Henrietta in 1968. The plan called for the demolition of a number of RIT buildings, and would have resulted in splitting the campus into two halves separated by the new freeway.[20][21] The portion of I-490 from exit 9 (I-390 and NY 390) in Gates to exit 27 (NY 96) in Perinton was ceremoniously designated as the "Erie Canal Expressway" by the New York State Legislature on August 16, 2005.[22]

Exit listEdit

GeneseeTown of Le Roy0.000.00   I-90 / New York Thruway – Albany, BuffaloWestern terminus, exit 47 on I-90 / Thruway
0.190.311  NY 19 – Le Roy, Bergen
county line
Le RoyRiga
town line
3.385.442   NY 33 / NY 33A – Bergen, Batavia
MonroeRiga6.3510.223  NY 36 – Churchville
Chili10.7817.354  NY 259 – North Chili, West Chili
14.0922.685  NY 386 – Chili Center
Gates15.7825.406   NY 204 east – AirportWestern terminus of NY 204
16.5826.687  NY 33 – Gates CenterSigned as exits 7A (east) and 7B (west)
17.1727.638  NY 531 west – Spencerport, BrockportEastbound exit is with exit 7B
19.0230.619    I-390 / NY 390 – Greece, AirportSigned as exits 9A (north) and 9B (south); exits 20A-B on I-390
Rochester20.1732.4610Mount Read BoulevardSigned as exits 10A (south) and 10B (north) eastbound
20.9533.7211Ames Street / Child StreetSigned as exits 11A (Ames Street) and 11B (Child Street) westbound
21.8535.1612Broad Street / StadiumsNo westbound exit; serves Frontier Field and Sahlen's Stadium
22.2535.8113  Inner Loop – Downtown Rochester
22.7636.6314Broad Street / Plymouth Avenue – Frontier FieldWestbound exit and eastbound entrance
22.9436.9215   NY 31 / NY 15 / South AvenueWestbound exit and eastbound entrance; exit formerly served Inner Loop
23.4237.6916Clinton Avenue (NY 15) – Downtown RochesterWestbound exit to northbound Clinton Avenue and eastbound entrance
23.9238.5017Goodman Street / Broadway
24.3739.2218  NY 31 (Monroe Avenue)
24.9140.0919Culver Road
25.9141.7020Winton RoadWestbound access is via University Avenue
Brighton26.4442.5521   I-590 south / NY 590 northCan of Worm Interchange; exit 5 on I-590 / NY 590
27.0343.5022Penfield RoadEastbound exit and westbound entrance; former routing of NY 441
27.8244.7723  NY 441 (Linden Avenue) – Penfield
Town of Pittsford29.1446.9024East Rochester (NY 940U)Westbound exit ramp is shared with exit 24
29.5547.5625  NY 31F – Fairport
32.1351.7126  NY 31 – Pittsford, Palmyra
33.7654.3327  NY 96 – Bushnell's Basin
35.0556.4128  NY 96Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
OntarioTown of Victor37.0059.5529  NY 96 – VictorServes Eastview Mall westbound; no eastbound exit to NY 96 northbound
37.4060.19   I-90 / New York Thruway – Albany, BuffaloEastern terminus, exit 45 on I-90 / Thruway
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b New York and New Jersey Tourgide Map (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally and Company. Gulf Oil Company. 1960.
  2. ^ a b c New York and Metropolitan New York (Map) (1961–62 ed.). Cartography by H.M. Gousha Company. Sunoco. 1961.
  3. ^ a b New York State Highways (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally and Company. State of New York Department of Commerce. 1969.
  4. ^ a b New York Thruway (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally and Company. New York State Thruway Authority. 1971.
  5. ^ a b "2008 Traffic Volume Report for New York State" (PDF). New York State Department of Transportation. June 16, 2009. pp. 238–239. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 27, 2012. Retrieved 2010-01-31.
  6. ^ a b c d e f [citation needed]
  7. ^ Freile, Victoria E. (June 18, 2010). "I-490 closures ahead for some travelers". Democrat and Chronicle. Rochester, NY. pp. 1B, 4B.
  8. ^ a b c d New York (Monroe County) – Rochester Quadrangle (Map). 1:62,500. United States Geological Survey. 1920. Retrieved November 18, 2010.
  9. ^ a b c Lipman, Andrew David (April 1974). "The Rochester Subway: Experiment in Municipal Rapid Transit" (PDF). Rochester History. Rochester Public Library. 36 (2): 1–3, 13, 20–21, 24. Retrieved November 18, 2010.
  10. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  11. ^ New York (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally and Company. Sunoco. 1952.
  12. ^ New York with Special Maps of Putnam–Rockland–Westchester Counties and Finger Lakes Region (Map) (1955–56 ed.). Cartography by General Drafting. Esso. 1954.
  13. ^ New York with Special Maps of Putnam–Rockland–Westchester Counties and Finger Lakes Region (Map) (1957 ed.). Cartography by General Drafting. Esso. 1956.
  14. ^ New York Including Long Island (Map). Cartography by H.M. Gousha Company. Sunoco. 1957.
  15. ^ a b New York with Sight-Seeing Guide (Map) (1962 ed.). Cartography by General Drafting. Esso. 1962.
  16. ^ a b New York Happy Motoring Guide (Map) (1963 ed.). Cartography by General Drafting. Esso. 1963.
  17. ^ New York and Metropolitan New York (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally and Company. Sinclair Oil Corporation. 1964.
  18. ^ New York (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally and Company. Mobil. 1965.
  19. ^ New York (Map) (1969–70 ed.). Cartography by General Drafting. Esso. 1968.
  20. ^ Gordon, Dane R. (September 21, 2007). Rochester Institute of Technology: Industrial Development and Educational Innovation in an American City, 1829-2006. RIT Cary Graphic Arts Press. p. 265. ISBN 978-1-933360-23-2. Retrieved November 25, 2010.
  21. ^ "History of RIT". Rochester Institute of Technology. 2009. Retrieved November 24, 2010.
  22. ^ "Bill Status Search by Bill Number (A2582, 2005)". New York State Legislature. Retrieved July 16, 2010.

External linksEdit

KML is from Wikidata