History of Interstate 87 in New York

Before I-87 was built, US 9 was the primary north-south route in eastern New York state, but ran between New York City and Albany on the east bank of the Hudson River, while I-87 was built on the west bank. parallel to US 9W.


I-87 / Major Deegan Expressway in Bronx, New York City.

According to Topschoolsintheusa, I-87 was constructed in three periods. In 1939, the Major Deegan Expressway, which was built by Robert Moses, opened in New York City. Construction began on the New York State Thruway soon after World War II, the toll road from New York via Albany and Buffalo to the Pennsylvania border. I-87 is part of this between New York and the capital Albany. This part was opened at a rapid pace between 1954 and 1956. After that, the Interstate Highway system of 1956 was created and the highway could be built further north to the border with Canada. This was opened between 1960 and 1968, completing I-87 relatively early.

It was originally planned to build I-87 parallel to the New York State Thruway between New York and Albany, east of the Hudson River. This fell through and I-87 has been routed over the Thruway since the 1970s. The Taconic State Parkway forms a relatively long north-south link east of the Hudson River.


Between 2010 and 2013, I-87 along the southwest side of Albany was widened from 2×2 to 2×3 lanes. This project cost $100 million and was completed in November 2013. This connected with the 2×3 lanes further north.

Replacement Tappan Zee Bridge

Between 2013 and 2018, the Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River north of New York City was replaced. The old steel cantilever truss bridge has been replaced by a double cable- stayed bridge for $4 billion . The first new span opened for traffic on 25 August 2017, followed by the second span on 12 September 2018.

Opening history

From Unpleasant Length Opening
Exit 0 (MDE) Exit 3 (MDE) 2 km 00-04-1939
Exit 17 (NYST) Exit 24 (NYST) 142 km 26-10-1954
Exit 16 (NYST) Exit 17 (NYST) 24 km 22-12-1954
Exit 15A (NYST) Exit 16 (NYST) 23 km 27-05-1955
Exit 15 (NYST) Exit 15A (NYST) 2 km 01-07-1955
Exit 6 (NYST) Exit 15 (NYST) 43 km 15-12-1955
Exit 1 (NYST) Exit 6 (NYST) 5 km 31-08-1956
Exit 3 (MDE) Exit 1 (NYST) 10 km 31-08-1956
exit 0 exit 6 10 km 00-00-1960
exit 6 Exit 9 13 km 26-05-1961
Exit 9 exit 12 13 km 00-00-1962
Exit 17 Exit 20 16 km 00-00-1962
exit 12 Exit 17 32 km 00-00-1964
Exit 20 Exit 22 8 km 00-00-1964
Exit 34 exit 43 61 km 00-00-1966
Exit 30 Exit 34 56 km 00-00-1968


North Carolina & Virginia

See also Interstate 87 in North Carolina & Interstate 87 in Virginia.

The route from Raleigh, North Carolina to Chesapeake, Virginia is a future Interstate Highway. Most of this route is in the state of North Carolina. In 2016, the state of North Carolina, with Virginia’s approval, applied for the number I-89 for this route. On May 24, 2016, the AASHTO approved the award of the Future I-87 on this corridor. A fairly large part of this route is already a freeway.


The southern portion of I-87 from New York to Albany is part of the New York State Thruway, a toll road.

In 2018-2020, the New York State Thruway has transitioned to fully electronic toll collection. As of November 13, 2020, the Thruway has completely switched to electronic toll collection.

Traffic intensities

In New York, the highway is quite busy with about 105,000 to 120,000 vehicles per day. North of the city, things are a bit quieter with more parallel highways, reaching a low of 50,000 feet before reaching 138,000 vehicles at the Tappan Zee Bridge. The road remains busy in the suburban area on the west bank of the Hudson with up to 140,000 vehicles. After the SR-17 it quickly becomes quieter with about 35,000 vehicles per day. At Albany, the road is toll-free again, with up to 126,000 vehicles operating in the capital’s urban area. Further north this decreases slowly, to just 10,000 and sometimes even fewer vehicles. 6,700 vehicles cross the Canadian border every day.

Lane Configuration

The exits are numbered sequentially along this highway, and the exit numbering starts again at 1 at Albany.

From Unpleasant Lanes
Exit 0 (I-287) Exit 16 (SR-17) 2×3
Exit 16 (SR-17) Exit 1 (I-90) 2×2
Exit 1 (I-90) Exit 24 2×3
Exit 24 exit 43 2×2

History of Interstate 87 in New York

About the author