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Interstate 90 (I-90) is a part of the Interstate Highway System that runs from Seattle, Washington, to Boston, Massachusetts. In the U.S. state of New York, I-90 extends 385.88 miles (621.01 km) from the Pennsylvania state line at Ripley to the Massachusetts state line at Canaan, and is the second-longest highway in the state after NY 17. Although most of the route is part of the tolled New York State Thruway, two non-tolled sections exist along I-90 (the first, situated outside of Buffalo, is included in the Thruway system; the second, situated in the Capital District, is not part of the Thruway system and links Albany and its eastern suburbs). Within New York, I-90 has a complete set of auxiliary Interstates, which means that there are interstates numbered I-190 through I-990 in the state, with no gaps in between. For most of its length in New York, I-90 runs parallel to the former Erie Canal route, New York State Route 5 (NY 5), U.S. Route 20 (US 20) and the CSX railroad mainline that traverses the state.

Interstate 90 marker

Interstate 90
Map of New York with I-90 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by NYSTA and NYSDOT
Length385.88 mi[2] (621.01 km)
ExistedAugust 14, 1957[1]–present
Major junctions
West end I-90 in North East, PA
East endToll plate yellow.svgNo image wide.svg
I‑90 / Mass Pike in West Stockbridge, MA
CountiesChautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Madison, Oneida, Herkimer, Montgomery, Schenectady, Albany, Rensselaer, Columbia
Highway system
NY 89ANY 90

I-90 was assigned in 1957 as part of the establishment of the Interstate Highway System. In New York, it was overlaid on the pre-existing New York State Thruway from Pennsylvania to Albany, from where it would have continued to Massachusetts on a new freeway that bypassed the Berkshire Connector to the north. Ultimately, the freeway was built from the Thruway mainline in Albany to the Berkshire Connector in Schodack, and I-90 was assigned to the segment of the Connector east of the proposed freeway. The Albany–Schodack freeway was completed in stages during the 1960s and 1970s and fully open by 1977.

Route descriptionEdit

New York State ThruwayEdit

West of Albany, I-90 in New York is designated along the mainline of the New York State Thruway. The Thruway begins at the Pennsylvania state line in Chautauqua County, following the shore of Lake Erie northeast and passes through the town of Cheektowaga, a large suburb of Buffalo directly east of the city. Two auxiliary routes, I-190 (leading to Niagara Falls and connecting into Canada as Ontario Highway 405) and I-290 (a northerly bypass of Buffalo) connect with I-90 here. Both auxiliary routes provide access between I-90 and Canada's largest city, Toronto. East of Erie County, the Thruway turns east and passes through the suburbs of several major cities in Upstate New York, generally following the path of the Erie Canal. It passes south of Rochester and north of Syracuse, which are served by three auxiliary Interstate Highways: I-490 and I-390 connect to Rochester, while I-690 leads to Syracuse.[3] The speed limit, enforced by the New York State Police, is 65 miles per hour along most of this stretch.[4]

Approaching exit 54 on I-90 westbound in West Seneca

East of Syracuse, the Thruway follows the Erie Canal and, later, the Mohawk River into the Mohawk Valley toward Utica, where I-90 skirts the northern edge of downtown and meets I-790, a short route leading into the city's center. Farther east, the freeway indirectly serves the canal and riverside cities of Little Falls (via NY 169) and Amsterdam (NY 30) on its way to Schenectady, where I-890 splits from the Thruway and serves as the connection to the city center. It rejoins I-90 in Albany County, where I-90 leaves the mainline of the Thruway at exit 24 in Albany, which is signed for I-87 north and I-90 east. Here, the route designation of the Thruway changes from I-90 east to I-87 south. Traffic intending to continue on I-90 or reach I-87 north must exit the Thruway here. Exit numbers and mile markers for I-90 reset after exiting.[3]

Albany and Rensselaer countiesEdit

Guilderland Service Area

The Albany–Schodack section of I-90—the only portion of I-90 in New York that is not part of the Thruway system—begins concurrent with I-87 and heads southeast from Thruway exit 24 to a toll barrier that, for now, marks the end of tolls along the freeway. Now a toll-free highway, I-90 and I-87 continue to exits 1N and 1S, which are for the Adirondack Northway (I-87) and Fuller Road Alternate (unsigned NY 910F), respectively. Located off exit 1S and Fuller Road Alternate, a spur of the Northway leading to Western Avenue (US 20), is the Crossgates Mall in Guilderland. I-90 proceeds eastward, meeting Washington Avenue at an interchange connecting to UAlbany, a state university, eastbound and Fuller Road (County Route 156 or CR 156) westbound.[5]

Exits 3 and 4, located 0.6 miles (1.0 km) apart in an area bounded by Washington and Central (NY 5) avenues, lead to the W. Averell Harriman State Office Building Campus and the New York State Police Academy (exit 3) and to the Crosstown Arterial (NY 85 at exit 4). I-90 subsequently crosses over NY 5 and passes north of Westgate Plaza as it connects to Everett Road (CR 155). The freeway continues along the northern edge of Albany to exit 5A,[5] a large trumpet interchange originally built to serve I-687.[6] After that project was cancelled, it was repurposed as an exit for Corporate Woods Boulevard. East of exit 5A, I-90 passes by slightly more residential areas ahead of a stack interchange with US 9 1 mile (1.6 km) north of downtown Albany. Albany Memorial Hospital is located just north of the exit on US 9.[5]

The stack interchange between I-90 and US 9 in Albany as seen from I-90 eastbound

Not far to the east of US 9 is a second stack interchange, connecting I-90 to I-787 in the industrial northeasternmost section of the city of Albany. At this point, I-90 turns to the southeast and follows the Patroon Island Bridge over the Hudson River and into Rensselaer County. Across the river, I-90 becomes the Rensselaer County Veterans Memorial Highway and passes through much less developed areas. In its first 1.5 miles (2.4 km) in the county, the freeway meets Washington Avenue at the northern edge of the city of Rensselaer and the west end of NY 43 in the town of North Greenbush, southwest of US 4 and Defreestville. South of NY 43, I-90 and US 4 follow parallel routings into East Greenbush, where I-90 directly connects to US 4 at exit 9.[5]

I-90 heads southeastward across an undeveloped, forested section of the county, crossing over NY 151 and entering the town of Schodack, where it meets Miller Road, a connector between I-90 and the concurrent routes of US 9 and US 20. The freeway and the overlapping U.S. Routes follow similar routings to Schodack Center, at which point I-90 finally connects to US 9 and US 20 at exits 11E and 11W. I-90 heads due south from this point, passing over NY 150 and paralleling US 9, which splits from US 20 at Schodack Center. The routes cross paths again at exit 12 just north of where I-90 rejoins the Thruway system at a toll barrier preceding exit B1 of the Berkshire Connector.[5]

Berkshire ConnectorEdit

I-90 heads southeast on the Connector, meeting the north end of the Taconic State Parkway in the Columbia County town of Chatham at exit B2 and NY 22 at exit B3 in the town of Canaan 1 mile (1.6 km) from the Massachusetts state line. The Berkshire Connector ends at the state line; however, I-90 continues southeast into Massachusetts as the Massachusetts Turnpike.[3]


The Berkshire Connector (I-90) near exit B2 in Chatham

The east–west corridor I-90 follows across New York has always been major, followed by the Genesee Trail (1790s), Erie Canal (1825), New York Central Railroad (1853), and later the Yellowstone Trail (1912), which became US 20 and NY 5. It was planned as part of a nationwide toll road system as early as 1938.[7] Exactly which cities would be served changed over the years, but it was the state of New York that made the decision in 1942, when they passed a law for the construction of a New York CityAlbanyBuffaloPennsylvania "thruway". This highway, passing Utica, Syracuse, and Rochester on its path between Albany and Buffalo, would provide construction jobs in the post-World War II period.[8] The Berkshire Thruway, a branch east from near Albany to Massachusetts, was authorized in 1944, completing the east–west route across the state.[9] However, construction, which began in 1946, proceeded very slowly, with only one four-mile (6 km) portion open by 1950, when a law created the New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA) to operate the route as a toll road. Construction then progressed much more rapidly, especially after 1954, when the authority was allowed to issue bonds not backed by the state (thus having higher interest rates).[10] The roadway was completed between Buffalo and Albany in 1954,[11] to New York City in 1956,[12] to Pennsylvania in 1957,[13] and to Massachusetts in 1959.[14]

In the meantime, the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act was enacted in 1956, promising a toll-free network of Interstate Highways throughout the nation. The Bureau of Public Roads (BPR) commissioner soon announced that the toll road met all federal Interstate Highway standards,[15] and on August 14, 1957, most of the mainline of the Thruway was incorporated into the system as part of Interstates 87 and 90. Most of the connecting Massachusetts Turnpike was also included, but a more northerly alignment, avoiding the Berkshire Thruway, was proposed by the states of New York and Massachusetts for I-90 through Albany past Pittsfield to East Lee, Massachusetts.[1][16] This alignment would be about 30% shorter than the all-toll alignment, and would provide relief to the four-lane Castleton Bridge on the Berkshire Thruway, which had been built narrower than the rest of the system because of the planned parallel alternate.[17] The BPR objected to the duplication, which would cost over $90 million, and refused to approve this alignment.[18] The eventual route ran southeast from Albany to the Berkshire Thruway at the Nassau interchange, providing Albany with an alternate route and additional bridge, but not offering any savings in distance, and creating a "toll trap" for drivers accessing the Taconic State Parkway from Albany.[19]

Overhead signage for exit 24 in Albany, where I-90 leaves the Thruway mainline to serve downtown Albany.

Construction on the route of I-90 through Albany began c. 1963, with both ends at existing Thruway interchanges: exit 24, which crossed the Adirondack Northway (I-87) at a cloverleaf interchange and connected to Washington Avenue in western Albany, and exit B1, which connected to US 9 near Nassau.[20][21] Work on the freeway began at the Northway and progressed southeasterly to the Berkshire Connector in Rensselaer County. The portion between the Northway and Everett Road was opened to traffic in the mid-1960s[22][23] while the piece extending from Everett Road to US 4 east of Rensselaer was completed in the early 1970s.[24][25] The last section of the highway was completed to US 9 and US 20 in Schodack Center c. 1974[26][27] and finished by 1977.[28] The Northway cloverleaf was rebuilt in the late 1980s.[29][30]

In 1999, the New York State Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration and NYSTA discussed redesignating the Berkshire Connector as I-90 and redesignating the non-toll part of I-90 from Thruway exit 24 to exit B1 on the Connector as I-88. The section of the Thruway between exits 25 and 24 would then be co-designated as both I-90 and I-88. This was never implemented.[31]

Exit listEdit

The mileposts below for the non-thruway section follow actual signage, where mile 0.00 is located just east of the toll booths for Exit 24 of the Thruway.[32][33]

ChautauquaRipley0.000.00  I-90 west – ErieContinuation into Pennsylvania; western terminus of the Thruway
494.92796.5061    Shortman Road (US 20) to NY 5 / NY 76 – Ripley
494.51795.84Ripley Toll Barrier (western terminus of ticketed system)
Town of Westfield485.00780.5360   NY 394 to NY 5 – Westfield, Mayville
Dunkirk467.74752.7559  NY 60 – Dunkirk, Fredonia
Hanover455.54733.1258    US 20 / NY 5 – Silver Creek, IrvingAccess to Lakeshore Hospital
ErieEvans444.87715.9557AEden, Angola
Hamburg436.22702.0357  NY 75 – Hamburg, East AuroraEast Aurora only appears on eastbound signage
432.45695.9656  NY 179 (Mile Strip Rd) – Blasdell, Orchard ParkOrchard Park only appears on eastbound signage
Buffalo430.51692.84Lackawanna Toll Barrier (eastern terminus of ticketed system)
429.47691.1655  US 219 – Ridge Road, Lackawanna, West Seneca, Orchard Park, Springville
427.94688.7054   NY 400 / NY 16 – West Seneca, East Aurora
426.17685.8553  I-190 – Downtown Buffalo, Canada, Niagara Falls
Cheektowaga424.92683.8452AWilliam Street
423.19681.0652Walden Avenue (NY 952Q) – Cheektowaga, BuffaloSigned as 52E (east) and 52W (west)
421.57678.4551   NY 33 – Buffalo, Buffalo Niagara International AirportSigned as 51E (east) and 51W (west)
420.93677.4250ACleveland DriveEastbound exit and westbound entrance
Amherst420.34676.4750  I-290 – Niagara Falls
419.69675.43Williamsville Toll Barrier (western terminus of ticketed system)
Cheektowaga417.27671.5349   NY 78 – Depew, Buffalo Niagara International Airport
GeneseePembroke401.72646.5148A  NY 77 – Pembroke, Medina
Town of Batavia390.13627.8548  NY 98 – Batavia
Town of Le Roy378.56609.2347   I-490 / NY 19 – Le Roy, Rochester
MonroeHenrietta362.44583.2946    I-390 / NY 253 / NY 15 – Rochester, Corning
OntarioTown of Victor350.99564.8645   I-490 to NY 96 – Rochester, VictorVictor only appears on eastbound signage
Farmington347.13558.6544  NY 332 – Canandaigua, VictorVictor only appears on westbound signage
Town of Manchester340.15547.4243  NY 21 – Manchester, Palmyra
Town of Phelps327.10526.4242    NY 14 / NY 318 to NY 96 – Geneva, Lyons
SenecaTyre320.41515.6541  NY 414 – Waterloo, Clyde
CayugaBrutus304.19489.5540   NY 34 to NY 31 – Weedsport, Auburn
OnondagaSeneca Knolls289.53465.9539   I-690 / NY 690 – Syracuse, Fulton
Liverpool285.95460.1938  CR 57 – Liverpool, Syracuse
283.79456.7237Electronics Parkway – Liverpool, SyracuseSyracuse only signed eastbound; Liverpool only signed westbound
Syracuse282.93455.3336   I-81 – Watertown, Binghamton, Syracuse AirportExit 25A on I-81
DeWitt278.93448.8935   NY 298 / NY 635 – Syracuse, East Syracuse
276.58445.1134A  I-481 – Syracuse, Oswego, ChittenangoExit 6 on I-481; Chittenango signed eastbound, Oswego signed westbound; Future I-81
MadisonCanastota261.50420.8434  NY 13 – Canastota, Chittenango, OneidaOneida only signed eastbound; Chittenango only signed westbound
OneidaVerona252.71406.7033  NY 365 – Verona, Oneida, RomeRome only signed eastbound; Oneida only signed westbound
Westmoreland243.37391.6732  NY 233 – Westmoreland, RomeRome only signed westbound
Utica232.85374.7431      I-790 / NY 8 / NY 12 to NY 49 / NY 5 – Utica, RomeRome only signed westbound
HerkimerVillage of Herkimer219.70353.5730    NY 28 to NY 5S / NY 5 – Herkimer, Mohawk
Danube210.62338.9629A   NY 169 to NY 5S – Little Falls, Dolgeville
MontgomeryTown of Canajoharie194.10312.3729    NY 10 / NY 5S to NY 5 – Canajoharie, Sharon Springs
Glen182.17293.1728    NY 30A to NY 5S / NY 5 – Fultonville, Fonda
Amsterdam173.59279.3727     NY 30 to NY 5S / NY 5 / NY 67 – Amsterdam
SchenectadyRotterdam162.22261.0726     I-890 / NY 890 / NY 5 / NY 5S – Schenectady, Scotia
158.82255.6025A   I-88 / NY 7 – Schenectady, Binghamton
county line
GuilderlandRotterdam line153.83247.5725    I-890 / NY 7 / NY 146 – Schenectady
AlbanyAlbanyGuilderland line0.000.0024   New York Thruway / I-87 south – New York CityEastern terminus of concurrency with the Thruway (mainline)
0.050.080Albany Toll Barrier (eastern terminus of tolled road)
0.100.161S  To US 20 (Western Avenue) / Crossgates Mall
1N   I-87 north – Albany International Airport, Montreal, SaratogaExits 1E-W on I-87
0.801.292Washington Avenue (NY 910D)
  CR 156 (Fuller Road) – UAlbany
Signed eastbound for Washington Avenue, westbound for Fuller Road
Albany1.852.983State Offices
2.193.524  NY 85 west – Slingerlands, VoorheesvilleEastern terminus of NY 85
3.195.135   CR 155 (Everett Road) to NY 5
3.806.125ACorporate Woods BoulevardFormerly planned for I-687
5.108.216    US 9 to NY 32 / NY 377 – Loudonville, Arbor Hill
6.169.916A  I-787 – Troy, AlbanyExit 5 on I-787
Hudson River6.4110.32Patroon Island Bridge
RensselaerRensselaer6.9211.147Washington Avenue – RensselaerEastbound exit and westbound entrance (other movements via exit 8)
North Greenbush7.7312.448  NY 43 east – DefreestvilleWestern terminus of NY 43
East Greenbush9.4715.249  US 4 – East Greenbush, Rensselaer, Troy
Schodack13.1021.0810  CR 54 (Miller Road) Schodack Center East GreenbushSigned eastbound for Schodack Center, westbound for East Greenbush
14.5123.3511   US 9 / US 20 – East Greenbush, NassauSigned as exits 11W (north/west) and 11E (south/east) eastbound
Castleton-on-Hudson19.5731.4912  US 9 – Hudson, Castleton-on-Hudson
19.9932.17Rensselaer Toll Barrier (western terminus of ticketed system)
20.3932.81B1   Berkshire Connector west to I-87 / New York Thruway – New York City, BuffaloWestern terminus of concurrency with the Berkshire Connector
ColumbiaChatham15.0924.29B2   Taconic State Parkway south / NY 295Northern terminus of Taconic Parkway; no trucks, buses, or trailers on TSP
Canaan17.8328.69Canaan Toll Barrier (eastern terminus of ticketed system)
23.2737.45B3  NY 22 – Austerlitz, New Lebanon
24.2839.07  I‑90 / Mass Pike east – BostonContinuation into Massachusetts; eastern terminus of Berkshire Connector
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Official route numbering for the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways (Map). American Association of State Highway Officials. August 14, 1957.
  2. ^ "2008 Traffic Volume Report for New York State" (PDF). New York State Department of Transportation. June 16, 2009. pp. 146–149. Retrieved January 31, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c New York State Map (Map). Cartography by Map Works. I Love New York. 2009.
  4. ^ "History of NY Thruway 1991–2000". Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e [citation needed]
  6. ^ "History". Adirondack Northway Exit 3 Project. New York State Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 11, 2010.
  7. ^ Location of Routes Selected for Study (Map). Bureau of Public Roads. 1938.
  8. ^ Statement by Assemblyman Moffat and Senator Hampton Relative to the Establishment of a State Thruway System, March 13, 1942, New York Legislative Document, 1942, v. 15 no. 80–82, p. 153
  9. ^ "The New York State Thruway: The Beginning". Thruway Chronology. New York State Thruway Authority. 2002. Retrieved November 18, 2010.
  10. ^ Kaszynski, William (2000). The American Highway: The History and Culture of Roads in the United States. McFarland & Company. pp. 141–142. ISBN 0-7864-0822-7.
  11. ^ Weaver, Warren Jr. (October 27, 1954). "More of Thruway Opened by Dewey". The New York Times. p. 31.
  12. ^ Ingraham, Joseph C. (August 27, 1956). "Thruway Opening Final Link Friday". The New York Times. p. 21.
  13. ^ "The Thruway Becomes the Longest Toll Road". The New York Times. December 15, 1957. p. 159.
  14. ^ Ingraham, Joseph C. (May 24, 1959). "Boston to Chicago". The New York Times. p. XX1.
  15. ^ Pierce, Bret (September 19, 1956). "Thruway Called a Model Project". The New York Times. p. 39.
  16. ^ "Traffic Engineering for I90". Traffic Engineering. Institute of Traffic Engineers. 28. 1957.
  17. ^ Highway Cost Estimates: Hearings before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Public Works, 1958, p. 173
  18. ^ U.S. Congress, Miscellaneous Highway Legislation, 1961, p. 112
  19. ^ "Rockefeller Urged to Veto Road Link". The New York Times. March 30, 1964. p. 25.
  20. ^ New York with Sight-Seeing Guide (Map) (1962 ed.). Cartography by General Drafting. Esso. 1962.
  21. ^ New York Happy Motoring Guide (Map) (1963 ed.). Cartography by General Drafting. Esso. 1963.
  22. ^ New York (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally and Company. Mobil. 1965.
  23. ^ New York (Map) (1969–70 ed.). Cartography by General Drafting. Esso. 1968.
  24. ^ New York State Highways (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally and Company. State of New York Department of Commerce. 1969.
  25. ^ New York and New Jersey Tourgide Map (Map) (1972 ed.). Cartography by Rand McNally and Company. Gulf Oil Company. 1972.
  26. ^ New York (Map) (1973 ed.). Cartography by H.M. Gousha Company. Shell Oil Company. 1973.
  27. ^ New York and New Jersey Tourgide Map (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally and Company. Gulf Oil Company. 1974.
  28. ^ New York (Map) (1977–78 ed.). Cartography by General Drafting. Exxon. 1977.
  29. ^ Federal Highway Administration (2009). "Structure 1073530". National Bridge Inventory. United States Department of Transportation.
  30. ^ Federal Highway Administration (2009). "Structure 1073540". National Bridge Inventory. United States Department of Transportation.
  31. ^ Bergman Associates (February 13, 2008). "Hudson River Crossing Study" (PDF). Capital District Transportation Committee and New York State Department of Transportation. p. 22. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 19, 2011. Retrieved December 25, 2009.
  32. ^ Google Maps (October 2011). "Street View". Google. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
  33. ^ a b c Office of Technical Services (2014). "Inventory Listing". Engineering Division, New York State Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
  34. ^ "2011 Traffic Volume Report" (PDF). New York State Department of Transportation. September 25, 2012. pp. 148–149. Retrieved July 10, 2015.

External linksEdit

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