New York State Thruway

New York State Thruway

NYS Thruway Sign.svg

New York State Thruway
Route information
Maintained by New York State Thruway Authority
Length: 496.00 mi[2] (798.23 km)
Mainline only.
Existed: June 24, 1954[1] – present
Major junctions
South end: I-87 at New York City line in Yonkers
  I-287 near Elmsford
Palisades Parkway in West Nyack
Garden State Parkway in Ramapo
NY 17 in Harriman
I-84 in Newburgh
I-87 / I-90 near Albany
I-88 near Schenectady
I-81 near Syracuse
I-390 near Rochester
NY 400 near Buffalo
West end: I-90 at Pennsylvania state line in Ripley
Highway system

Numbered highways in New York
Interstate • U.S. • N.Y. (former) • Reference • County

The New York State Thruway is a system of limited-access highways located within the state of New York in the United States. The system, known officially as the Governor Thomas E. Dewey Thruway for former New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey, is operated by the New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA) and comprises 569.83 miles (917.05 km) of highway. The tolled mainline of the Thruway extends for 496.00 miles (798.23 km) from the New York City line at Yonkers to the Pennsylvania state line at Ripley by way of Albany, Syracuse, and Buffalo. According to the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association, the Thruway is the fifth busiest toll road in the United States.[3]

A tolled highway connecting the major cities of New York was first proposed as early as the 1940s. The first section of the Thruway, between Utica and Rochester, opened on June 24, 1954. The remainder of the mainline and many of its spurs connecting to highways in other states and provinces were built in the 1950s. When the Interstate Highway System was created in 1957, much of the Thruway system was included as portions of Interstate 87 (I-87), I-90, and I-95. Other segments became part of I-190 and I-287 shortly afterward. Today, the system comprises six highways: the New York – Ripley mainline, the Berkshire Connector, the Garden State Parkway Connector, the New England Thruway (I-95), the Niagara Thruway (I-190), and the Cross Westchester Expressway (I-287). The portion of I-84 in New York was part of the Thruway system from 1991 to 2010.

The Thruway utilizes both open (barrier-based) tolling and closed (ticket-based) tolling. Tickets are used on the Thruway mainline between Harriman and the eastern suburbs of Buffalo and from the southern suburbs of Buffalo to the Pennsylvania state line. The Berkshire Connector also utilizes a ticket-based tolling system. The portion of the mainline south of Harriman, the New England Thruway, and the Niagara Thruway have open tolling systems, with all three highways containing at least one toll barrier. The last two components—the Garden State Parkway Connector and the Cross Westchester Expressway—and the section of the mainline in and around Buffalo are toll-free.

Route description

The New York State Thruway in Yonkers

The New York State Thruway system is a collection of six individual components across the state of New York that connect the state to four neighboring states (Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) as well as the Canadian province of Ontario. Together, the highways extend for 569.83 miles (917.05 km),[2] making the Thruway system one of the largest toll highway systems in the United States.[4] The longest of the six components is the 496-mile (798 km) mainline. Of the 570 miles in the Thruway system, 560.85 miles (902.60 km) (98.4%) carries at least one Interstate Highway designation.[2] Only three sections of the system are not part of the Interstate Highway System; these are the Garden State Parkway Connector in Rockland County, a 6-mile (10 km) portion of the Berkshire Connector between exit 21A on the mainline near Selkirk and exit B1 in Schodack, and a short section of the mainline within exit 24 in Albany that is located between where I-87 departs the roadway and I-90 enters it. They are designated as New York State Route 982L (NY 982L), NY 912M, and NY 915H, respectively, all unsigned reference routes.[5]

I-90, which comprises the bulk of the mainline and the Berkshire Connector, runs for 365.55 miles (588.30 km) along the Thruway: 17.70 miles (28.49 km) as part of the Berkshire Connector and 347.85 miles (559.81 km) on the mainline. I-87 comprises the remaining 148.15 miles (238.42 km) of the mainline, including an 18.86-mile (30.35 km) concurrency with I-287 north of New York City. I-287 covers another 29.76 miles (47.89 km) (including the 18.86 miles (30.35 km) shared with I-87), while I-190 spans 21.24 miles (34.18 km) and I-95 covers 15.01 miles (24.16 km).[2]

All highways maintained by the New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA) lack the reference markers that exist on all New York State Department of Transportation-maintained roads, as would be expected. In their place, NYSTA-controlled roadways use small, square tenth-mile markers with a white background and blue numbering.[6] These markers differ from the white-on-green reference markers used by NYSDOT on state-maintained highways, which are 10 inches (254 mm) high and 8 inches (203 mm) wide and display a limited amount of mileage information on their third row.[7]


South of Albany

The mainline of the Thruway begins, both in terms of exit numbers and mileposts, at the boundary between the New York City borough of the Bronx and the Westchester County city of Yonkers.[2] Here, I-87 changes from the Major Deegan Expressway to the Thruway as the mainline proceeds northward through Yonkers and southern Westchester County. It connects with Central Park Avenue (NY 100) at exit 1, the first of 12 exits within the county. The Thruway generally parallels the Sprain Brook Parkway north to Elmsford, where it meets I-287 (the Cross Westchester Expressway). I-287 joins the Thruway here, following I-87 west across the Hudson River into Rockland County on the Tappan Zee Bridge.[8]

Tappan Zee Bridge (I-87 and I-287)

I-87 and I-287 remain overlapped through the densely populated southern portion of Rockland County, meeting the Palisades Interstate Parkway and the New York segment of the Garden State Parkway at exits 13 and 14, respectively, before separating at a large semi-directional T interchange (exit 15) near the New Jersey border. At this point, I-287 heads south into New Jersey while I-87 and the Thruway turn northward into the valley of the Ramapo River. The highway continues north through the river valley toward Harriman, where it encounters the Woodbury toll barrier, the southeastern end of the mainline's major closed ticket system. The barrier is located on the mainline within exit 16 (NY 17), a trumpet interchange. Along with the mainline barrier in Harriman, a separate toll plaza exists on the exit 16 ramp midway between the Thruway and NY 17 exit 131 (NY 32).[8]

Now a completely tolled highway, the Thruway heads northward, roughly paralleling the Hudson River to the river's west as it serves the city of Newburgh, the village of New Paltz, and the city of Kingston, indirectly connecting to the short I-587 in the latter. Past Kingston, the highway runs closer to the river as it parallels U.S. Route 9W (US 9W) through the vicinity of the villages of Catskill, Coxsackie, and Ravena. Just north of Ravena, the Thruway meets the west end of the Berkshire Connector, a spur linking the Thruway mainline to the Massachusetts Turnpike 25 miles (40 km) to the east. The highway continues into Albany, where it connects to Troy via I-787 at exit 23 and intersects I-90 at exit 24.[8] The latter of the two junctions is the busiest of the Thruway's exits, serving an estimated 27 million vehicles a year.[9] I-87 leaves the Thruway mainline here while I-90 merges into it, following the Thruway northwestward toward Schenectady.[8]

The New York State Thruway (I-87) looking east from Nordkop Mountain in Suffern.

Albany to Syracuse

South of Schenectady, but still in Albany County, the Thruway and I-90 meet I-890, a loop route of I-90 that directly serves the downtown district of Schenectady, at exit 25. The Thruway, meanwhile, bypasses the city to the south and west, intersecting I-88 at exit 25A in Rotterdam before reuniting with I-890 at exit 26 west of Scotia. From this point west to Utica, the mainline of the Thruway parallels the Erie Canal and the Mohawk River, crossing over the waterbodies at Mohawk. In between Schenectady and Utica, I-90 and the Thruway serve several riverside communities, including the cities of Amsterdam (exit 27 via NY 30) and Little Falls (exit 29A, NY 169) and the villages of Fonda (exit 28, NY 30A), Canajoharie (exit 29, NY 5S and NY 10), and Mohawk (exit 30, NY 28).[8]

Like Schenectady before it, the Thruway bypasses downtown Utica, following an alignment north of the city while I-790 serves it directly. I-790 breaks from the Thruway at exit 31 and runs along two carriageways flanking the mainline on both sides for 1.5 miles (2.4 km) before turning southward onto the North–South Arterial. The adjacent highways become NY 49, which parallel the Thruway for another 2 miles (3.2 km) northwestward. At the end of this stretch, the Thruway turns slightly southwestward, crossing over the Mohawk River and the Erie Canal while NY 49 continues northwestward along the northern bank of the waterbodies toward Rome. On the other side of the river, the Thruway curves back to the west, proceeding to exit 32 in Westmoreland.[8]

I-90, part of the New York State Thruway, looking east near Syracuse

Not far to the west, the Thruway has a junction with NY 365 at exit 33 in Verona. Here, the Thruway connects to the cities of Rome and Oneida and serves the Turning Stone Resort & Casino via NY 365. The highway continues onward through a sparsely populated area between Verona and Syracuse, passing roughly 5 miles (8 km) south of Oneida Lake as it connects to the village of Canastota by way of NY 13 at exit 34. As the highway approaches exit 34A (I-481) outside of Syracuse, the surroundings become more developed. The level of development rises sharply west of I-481 as the Thruway enters Salina, a northern suburb of Syracuse. Within Salina, I-90 and the Thruway intersect I-81, which connects the Thruway to both downtown Syracuse and Syracuse Hancock International Airport.[8]

Syracuse to Buffalo

West of Salina, the Thruway passes north of Liverpool and Onondaga Lake before intersecting I-690 and its northern continuation, NY 690, at exit 39 in Van Buren. At this point, the amount of development along the Thruway sharply declines as it heads generally westward through a marshy area of Onondaga County. I-90 and the Thruway reconnect to the Erie Canal (here part of the Seneca River) at the western county line. Now in Cayuga County, the highway serves Weedsport via exit 40 and NY 34 and passes north of Port Byron prior to entering Seneca County and the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. Here, the canal leaves the Thruway for good, turning northwestward to follow the NY 31 corridor to Rochester and beyond.[8]

The portion of the Thruway between Montezuma and the Rochester area is one of mostly rural nature, with the highway passing through remote, open fields, and for the most part avoiding highly-populated areas. Along this stretch, it connects to two cities, both located well to the south of the Thruway: Geneva by way of exit 42 for NY 14 and Canandaigua by way of exit 43 via NY 21. The next exit along the highway, exit 44 for NY 332, also serves Canandaigua; the junction is the primary exit for Canandaigua-bound travelers from the Rochester area. Here, the Thruway temporarily widens from four to six lanes as it continues generally westward to meet I-490 at exit 45 near Victor. Like in the vicinity of Schenectady and Utica, an auxiliary route of I-90—here I-490—directly serves a city (Rochester) while the Thruway bypasses it.[8]

Advance signage for exit 45 (I-490)

It heads northwestward through the city's southern, mostly rural suburbs to Henrietta, where it meets I-390 at exit 46. Henrietta is as close as the Thruway gets to downtown as it proceeds west to Le Roy, where I-490 reconnects to I-90 at exit 47. I-90 continues onward into Genesee County, intersecting with NY 98 at exit 48 north of Batavia and NY 77 at exit 48A in Pembroke. The latter exit provides access to Darien Lake, a large amusement park located in the town of Darien. I-90 and the Thruway continue into Erie County and the Buffalo area. It meets NY 78 at exit 49 near Depew before passing through the Williamsville toll barrier, the northwestern end of the major closed ticket system.[8]

West of Buffalo

Just west of the toll barrier, I-90 and the Thruway—now toll-free—connect to I-290 via exit 50, a semi-directional T interchange. At this point, the Thruway turns southward, passing through the immediate eastern suburbs of Buffalo. As it heads south, it meets the Kensington Expressway (NY 33) at exit 51 and Walden Avenue at exit 52, both cloverleaf interchanges. At exit 52, it passes to the west of the Walden Galleria, a shopping mall situated at the nearby junction of Walden Avenue and NY 277. Two exits later in southern Cheektowaga, I-90 meets I-190, a spur route leading to downtown Buffalo and Niagara Falls, at exit 53.[8]

South of the city, the Thruway meets the Aurora Expressway (NY 400) and the Southern Expressway (US 219) at exits 54 and 55, respectively, in West Seneca. Just southwest of exit 55, I-90 and the Thruway pass through the Lackawanna toll barrier, which serves as the northeast end of the minor closed ticket system. Once again a toll road, the Thruway heads southwestward, roughly paralleling the shoreline of Lake Erie to Blasdell, where it connects to NY 179 (the Milestrip Expressway). Farther southwestward, the Thruway is joined by US 20, which follows a parallel routing to that of the Thruway to the Pennsylvania state line.[8]

As the route passes from Erie County to Chautauqua County, the last on its routing, it cuts through the northwestern portion of the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation, situated on Cattaraugus Creek. The Thruway continues alongside US 20 past Dunkirk and Westfield to the Ripley toll barrier, the southwestern end of the minor closed ticket system just northeast of exit 61 for Shortman Road. The Thruway ends about 1 mile (1.6 km) after exit 61 at the Pennsylvania state line. I-90, however, continues onward into Pennsylvania as a toll-free highway.[8]

Berkshire Connector

The Berkshire Connector is a 24.28-mile (39.07 km) east–west spur connecting the Thruway mainline in Coeymans to the Massachusetts Turnpike at the Massachusetts state line in Canaan.[2] It is tolled as part of the closed ticket system in place on the mainline between exits 16 and 50. The highway begins at exit 21A off the Thruway southwest of Selkirk in the town of Coeymans (south of Albany)[10] as NY 912M, an unsigned reference route.[5] It proceeds eastward over the Hudson River and into Rensselaer County by way of the Castleton-on-Hudson Bridge. It navigates through the southern, rural portion of the county to exit B1 in Schodack, where the connector meets I-90.[10] The unsigned NY 912M designation terminates here while I-90 joins the Berkshire Connector and follows the spur east into Columbia County.[5][10]

While the Rensselaer County segment follows a mostly east–west routing, the Berkshire Connector in Columbia County takes on a northwest-southeast alignment as the roadway heads towards exit B2 in East Chatham. The junction serves as the northern terminus of the Taconic State Parkway, which connects the spur to the New York City area. About 2 miles (3.2 km) to the southeast is the Canaan toll barrier, which marks the end of the Thruway ticket system. The last exit on the Berkshire Connector is exit B3 for NY 22 just west of the Massachusetts state line in Canaan. The spur continues east to the state line, where it becomes the Massachusetts Turnpike.[10]

Garden State Parkway Connector

The Garden State Parkway Connector is a 2.40-mile (3.86 km) highway that connects the Thruway mainline with the Garden State Parkway at the New Jersey state line at Ramapo via exit 14A.[2] It is designated as NY 982L, an unsigned reference route.[5] The highway begins, in terms of mileposts, at Thruway (I-87 and I-287) exit 14A in Ramapo and heads generally southwestward as a toll-free highway toward the state line. Just north of the state line, the southbound connector meets Red Schoolhouse Road (County Route 41 or CR 41) at a partial diamond interchange.[11] All commercial traffic is forced to exit here as the Garden State Parkway prohibits commercial traffic north of exit 105. Thus, the final 0.31 miles (0.50 km) of the road south of the Schoolhouse Road exit is the only part of the Thruway system that prohibits commercial vehicles.[2][12] The connector continues to the state line, where it becomes the tolled Garden State Parkway.[11]

Other components

The New York State Thruway system also consists of three other components: the Cross Westchester Expressway, the New England Thruway, and the Niagara Thruway. The Cross Westchester Expressway, part of I-287, begins at I-87 exit 8 in Elmsford, where I-287 splits from the Thruway mainline, and travels east across Westchester County to I-95, with connections to both the New England Thruway and the Connecticut Turnpike at exit 12 in Rye. The New England Thruway (NET) is a 15.01-mile (24.16 km) section of I-95 under the operation and maintenance of the New York State Thruway Authority. It begins at the Pelham Parkway interchange (exit 8) in the Co-Op City section of the Bronx and continues northeastward into Westchester County to the Connecticut state line, where it connects to the Connecticut Turnpike. The Niagara Thruway comprises the first 21.24 miles (34.18 km) of I-190 from I-90 in Buffalo to NY 384 in Niagara Falls.[2]


Origins and construction

A toll superhighway connecting the major cities of the state of New York that would become part of a larger nationwide highway network was proposed as early as 1949. The following year, the New York State Legislature passed the Thruway Authority Act creating the New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA), an independent public corporation, which would build and manage the turnpike. The project was to be financed through toll revenue bonds and self-liquidating by receipt of tolls, rents, concessions, and other income. The act also stipulated NYSTA adopt a hybrid system of tolls, with barrier tolls collected in urban areas, and long-distance tickets issued in rural areas.[13]

The first section of the Thruway, between Utica and Rochester, opened on June 24, 1954.[1] Other sections of the 426-mile (686 km) mainline between Buffalo and the Bronx were completed and opened throughout 1954 and 1955. The last segment, from Yonkers south to the Bronx, was completed on August 31, 1956. The total cost was $600 million (equivalent to $4.85 billion in 2011), financed by the sale of $972 million in bonds (equivalent to $7.85 billion in 2011).[13][14] At the time, it was the longest toll road in the world. In 1957, the mainline was extended 70 miles (113 km) west from Buffalo along Lake Erie to the Pennsylvania state line. From 1957 to 1960, several spurs of the road were built to connect the road to turnpikes in adjacent states. These were the Berkshire Connector, which linked to the Massachusetts Turnpike, the New England Thruway, which connected to the Connecticut Turnpike, and the Niagara Thruway, a spur leading to Niagara Falls.[13]

On August 14, 1957, the Interstate Highway System was established. The segment of the mainline between the Pennsylvania border and the Adirondack Northway in Albany became part of I-90 while the portions from the Northway south to Newburgh and from Elmsford south to the New York City line were included in I-87. The eastern half of the Berkshire Connector also became part of I-90, creating a gap in the I-90 designation around Albany. The entirety of the New England Thruway became part of I-95 while the Niagara Thruway became I-90N, and later I-190.[15][16] The Elmsford–Suffern section of the mainline was designated as part of I-287 by 1960.[16] The last section of the mainline to receive a designation—from Suffern to Newburgh—finally received one on January 1, 1970, when I-87 was realigned to follow the Thruway between the two locations.[17] The highway was unique in that original signage utilized dark blue backgrounds, the same color blue as displayed on the New York state flag. Over time, these signs were replaced with Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)-approved green backgrounds.[13]

System expansion

After the New Jersey Turnpike was built in 1952, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) and NYSTA proposed a 13-mile (21 km) extension of the New Jersey Turnpike that would go from its end (at US 46 in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, at the time) up to West Nyack at the Thruway. The portion through New Jersey was to be constructed and maintained by NJTA, while the portion in New York was to be built and maintained by NYSTA. The purpose of this extension was to give motorists a "more direct bypass of the New York City area" to New England by using the Tappan Zee Bridge. The extension was to parallel NY 303 and the Conrail-owned River Line, and have limited interchanges, one of which would be with the Palisades Interstate Parkway. By 1970, it became too expensive to buy right-of-way access, and community opposition was fierce. Therefore, NJTA and NYSTA cancelled the project.[18]

In 1990, the state of New York sold the Cross Westchester Expressway (part of I-287) to NYSTA for $20 million (equivalent to $33.6 million in 2011) in an effort to balance the state's budget.[19][20][14] Similarly, in 1991, the Authority was directed to assume the cost of operating and maintaining the 71-mile (114 km) segment of I-84 in New York, which runs east–west from the Pennsylvania state line at Port Jervis to the Connecticut state line at Brewster.[21] The agreement made at this time between NYSTA and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) allowed NYSTA to transfer I-84 back to the state at any point after 1996 provided that the Thruway Authority gave NYSDOT a one-year notice.[22] Around this time, state officials also investigated the possibility of having NYSTA take over ownership and maintenance of all or part of New York's Interstate Highways.[23]

Toll elimination and I-84

All tolls along the Thruway were supposed to be abolished when the construction bonds used to build it had been paid off.[23] The last of the bonds were paid off in 1996; however, the tolls remained in place after the New York State Legislature transferred ownership of the New York State Canal System to NYSTA in 1992.[24]

Thruway Authority maintenance sign at onramps on I-84

Roughly one week before the November 2006 elections, NYSTA accepted $14 million from the State Senate in exchange for agreeing to cease the collection of tolls at the Black Rock and City Line toll barriers on the Niagara Thruway (I-190) in Buffalo for one year.[25] On October 30, 2006, NYSTA voted to permanently remove the tolls. Both major candidates in the 2006 gubernatorial election, Democrat and eventual victor Eliot Spitzer and Republican John Faso, had pledged to remove the tolls on I-190 if elected. In order to offset the lost toll revenue, NYSTA also voted to return maintenance of I-84 to NYSDOT,[26] as the annual maintenance cost of I-84 was considered to be equal to the amount of annual revenue generated from the Buffalo toll barriers—approximately $14 million.[27] Under the terms of the 1991 agreement between NYSTA and NYSDOT, maintenance of I-84 would become the responsibility of the DOT on October 30, 2007.[21]

In January 2007, State Senator John Bonacic of Mount Hope began drafting legislation to halt the planned transfer of maintenance of I-84. Bonacic asserted that the Thruway Authority had better maintenance practices than NYSDOT, most notably in the field of snow removal. He also claimed that the DOT lacked the time and money needed to match the quality of maintenance that NYSTA performed on I-84.[25] The senator eventually prevailed as the 2007–2008 budget was modified to allocate additional funding to NYSDOT, which would then pay the Thruway Authority to maintain I-84.[28] A formal agreement between the two agencies was reached on September 19. The one-year agreement cost NYSDOT $11.5 million and took effect October 30, the date I-84 was to become DOT-maintained.[21] The agreement was renewed in April 2008 at a cost of $10.3 million, extending the arrangement through October 31, 2009.[29] It remained in place until October 11, 2010, when NYSDOT re-assumed maintenance of the highway. The change was made in the 2010–2011 state budget in an effort to reduce the cost of maintaining I-84.[30] Governor David Paterson—who included the change in the budget—expected that the state would save $3.9 million annually on maintenance costs.[31]

Other developments

In the late 1970s, NYSTA experimented with all-metric signage in the Syracuse area, such as these signs at exit 35.

In 1964, the New York State Legislature officially renamed the Thruway in honor of Thomas E. Dewey, the Governor of New York at the time of the Thruway's opening. The official designation is, however, rarely used in reference to the road.[32]

In August 1993, NYSTA became the first agency to implement the E-ZPass electronic toll collection system.[13] By December 1996, it was implemented at all of the Thruway's fixed-toll barriers and at exits along the Berkshire Connector and the New York City – Buffalo section of the mainline.[33] E-ZPass was installed at all of the mainline exits by March 1998.[34] On May 14, 2010, a new E-ZPass configuration, consisting of two highway speed E-ZPass lanes in each direction, became operational at the Woodbury toll plaza, with concrete barriers separating the faster traffic from the staffed toll lanes necessary for vehicles not equipped for E-ZPass.[35] A similar project is in development at the Williamsville toll plaza.[36]

In 1999 NYSDOT, 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 as I-88. The section of the Thruway between exit 25 and 24 would then be designated as both I-90 and I-88. This was never implemented.[37]

When I-84 was built through the Newburgh area in the early 1960s,[38][39] no interchange was built between I-84 and the Thruway. Instead, the connection was made via a short segment of NY 300, which both I-84 and I-87 meet via interchanges.[40] Construction on a direct connection between the Thruway mainline and Interstate 84 began in August 2003.[41] The portion of the exit carrying traffic from I-84 to the Thruway was opened in July 2009. The opposite direction was opened two months later on September 23.[42] The connection allows cars to travel between I-87, I-84 and NY 300 via splits in the ramp.[43]


All of I-90 within New York is designated as the "AMVETS Memorial Highway", as indicated by this sign at the Port Byron service area.[5]

There are 27 service areas along the Thruway, all on the New York – Ripley mainline. The service areas, called "travel plazas" by the New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA), are spaced roughly 30 miles (48 km) apart and are open at all hours of the day. Two plazas—the Angola service area at milepost 447 and the New Baltimore plaza at milepost 127—are accessible from both directions of the Thruway; the remainder are accessible from only one direction. Each plaza features a gas station and a variety of restaurants. All of the toll plaza gas stations are served by either Mobil or Sunoco. Inside the plazas, there is at least one restaurant that is open 24 hours; this is typically a McDonald's, Burger King, Roy Rogers, Tim Hortons, or Dunkin' Donuts, depending on the plaza.[44] Free Wi-Fi service was added to all 27 service areas on March 1, 2007.[45]

NYSTA also operates the Thruway Authority Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) system, a network of radio stations across the state that broadcast information on traffic conditions along the Thruway. The system broadcasts at 1610 AM in the Buffalo, Rochester, Albany, Kingston, and Newburgh areas, 1620 AM in the Finger Lakes and Syracuse areas, 530 AM in the New York City metropolitan area, 540 AM in the vicinity of Utica, and at 98.7 FM in Chautauqua County. HAR is also used to broadcast Amber Alerts if one is issued.[46]


Collection methods

A New York State Thruway toll ticket obtained at exit 25A

All components of the New York State Thruway system except for the Garden State Parkway Connector and the Cross Westchester Expressway are tolled in some capacity. The New York – Ripley mainline employs both an open, barrier-based tolling system and a closed, ticket-based tolling system. From the New York City line to the NY 17 exit near Harriman, there are three toll barriers.[47][48] From there northward, a closed system is employed where drivers must obtain tickets which show their point of entry and the cost of traveling from there to their desired point of exit. Upon exiting the Thruway, the ticket must be surrendered and the appropriate toll must be paid.[47][49] Two separate closed systems are used on the Thruway mainline, encompassing all of the mainline between Harriman and the Pennsylvania state line except for a section in and around Buffalo.[47]

The southernmost of the three toll barriers is the Yonkers toll barrier, a bi-directional barrier between exits 6A and 7 in Yonkers. In Tarrytown, there is a southbound-only barrier for the Tappan Zee Bridge. Lastly, there is a northbound, commercial traffic-only barrier in Spring Valley.[48] The closed ticket system originally began at the Spring Valley toll barrier[49] but was moved to exit 16 on March 3, 1974, allowing interchanges along the Thruway in Rockland County to be free of tolls. The toll plaza at Suffern was dismantled along with this change.[50] At Harriman, the longer of the two closed, ticket-based systems begins and extends from NY 17 to just east of exit 50 in Amherst. The Berkshire Connector is enclosed within this ticket system, so traveling between the mainline and the connector via exit 21A does not involve crossing a toll barrier, and the connector's exits up to the toll barrier at exit B3 are listed with the mainline exits on tickets for the major closed system. The other system encompasses the portion of the mainline between exit 56 south of Buffalo and exit 61 near the Pennsylvania state line.[47]

To distinguish between exit 16 and the Woodbury toll barrier, Thruway tickets list the NY 17 interchange as exit 16 and the Woodbury toll plaza as exit 15, although the actual exit 15 is situated almost 15 miles (24 km) to the south.[47] Northbound traffic on I-87 traveling through the Woodbury toll barrier is given a ticket while travelers on southbound I-87 must surrender their ticket and pay the appropriate toll. Traffic heading south on I-87 and exiting at exit 16 must pay the appropriate toll for exit 16 at the Harriman toll plaza. Similarly, traffic heading north on I-87 and exiting at exit 16 must pay a fixed-rate toll at the Harriman plaza. Traffic entering the Thruway from NY 17 east must pay a fixed-rate toll at the Harriman barrier and, if traveling north, collect a ticket at the Woodbury barrier.[50] The ticket is identical to that given for exit 15 with the exception that the toll for exit 16 is subtracted from all of the prices.[51][52]

Approaching the Williamsville toll barrier on I-90 / Thruway westbound

The other components of the system that are tolled have far fewer tolls. On the New England Thruway (I-95), there is a single, fixed-rate toll barrier on I-95 northbound in New Rochelle. Meanwhile, the only tolls along the Niagara Thruway (I-190) are those for major bridges along the highway, namely the North and South Grand Island Bridges.[48]


When the Thruway opened in the mid-1950s, the cost to travel from Buffalo to New York City was $5.60 (equivalent to $46.00 in 2011). The closed ticket system, which at the time extended from Spring Valley to Williamsville, accounted for $5 of the toll, while the remaining $0.60 was charged at the Yonkers ($0.10) and Tappan Zee ($0.50) toll barriers.[49][14] As of April 2010, this trip costs $24.60: $18.35 for the closed ticket system from Williamsville to Woodbury, $5 for the Tappan Zee Bridge, and $1.25 for the Yonkers toll barrier.[53] After the south end of the major closed ticket system was moved from Spring Valley to Woodbury, the Spring Valley toll barrier became a fixed-rate toll for both cars and trucks.[50] The toll for cars was removed in July 1997. At the time, the toll was $0.40 (equivalent to $1.00 in 2011).[14][54]

As of April 2010, the Berkshire Connector costs $0.85 to travel between the Massachusetts state line and exit B1. Tolls west of exit B1 vary based on which direction a motorist travels on I-87.[55] The toll on the minor closed ticket system from Pennsylvania to exit 55 south of Buffalo is $3.15.[56] On I-190, the Grand Island Bridges cost $1 to cross while the New Rochelle toll barrier on I-95 costs $1.75 to pass through.[48] The Black Rock and City Line toll barriers on the Niagara Thruway in Buffalo charged $0.75 at the time of their removal on October 30, 2006.[26]

NY-blank (cutout).svg New York Roads portal

Exit list

For exits on the Cross Westchester Expressway, the New England Thruway, or the Niagara Thruway, see the articles on those highways.


County Location Mile[2] Exit Destinations Notes
Westchester Yonkers 0.00 I-87 south (Major Deegan Expressway) Continuation into New York City
0.48 1 Hall Place / McLean Avenue No access to McLean Avenue from northbound
1.42 2 Yonkers Avenue – Yonkers Raceway Northbound exit and southbound entrance
1.77 3 Mile Square Road Northbound exit and southbound entrance
2.18 4 Cross County Parkway Southbound exit also signed for Mile Square Road
2.70 5 NY 100 (Central Park Avenue) – White Plains Northbound exit and southbound entrance
4.00 6 Tuckahoe Road – Bronxville, Yonkers Signed as exits 6E (east) and 6W (west) southbound
5.14 6A Stew Leonard Drive, Ridge Hill Boulevard
5.47 Yonkers toll barrier
Dobbs Ferry 7.84 7 NY 9A – Ardsley Northbound exit and southbound entrance
Greenburgh 10.33 7A Saw Mill Parkway north to Taconic Parkway Northbound exit only
10.33 7A Saw Mill Parkway south Southbound exit and northbound entrance
11.31 8A NY 119 / Saw Mill Parkway north – Elmsford Northbound exit is part of exit 8
8 I-287 east (Cross Westchester Expressway) – White Plains, Rye East end of I-287 overlap
Tarrytown 12.85 9 US 9 – Tarrytown
13.07 Tappan Zee Bridge toll barrier
Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River
Rockland South Nyack
16.75 10 US 9W – Nyack, South Nyack No southbound exit
Nyack 17.42 11 US 9W (NY 59) – Nyack, South Nyack
Clarkstown 18.76 12 NY 303 / Palisades Center Drive – West Nyack
20.94 13 Palisades Parkway – Bear Mountain, New Jersey Signed as exits 13N (north) and 13S (south)
22.80 14 NY 59 – Spring Valley, Nanuet
Ramapo 23.53 14A Garden State Parkway – New Jersey
24.31 Spring Valley toll barrier (commercial vehicles only)
27.62 14B Airmont Road (CR 89) – Airmont, Montebello
30.17 15 I-287 south / Route 17 south to I-95 / NJ Turnpike – New Jersey West end of I-287 overlap; south end of NY 17 overlap
31.35 15A NY 17 north / NY 59 – Sloatsburg, Suffern North end of NY 17 overlap
Orange Woodbury 45.03 Woodbury toll barrier
45.20 16 US 6 / NY 17 – Harriman
Newburgh 60.10 17 NY 17K / NY 300 / I-84 – Newburgh, Middletown, Stewart International Airport
Ulster New Paltz 76.01 18 NY 299 – New Paltz, Poughkeepsie
Kingston 91.37 19 NY 28 (I-587) – Kingston, Rhinecliff Bridge
Saugerties 101.25 20 NY 32 – Saugerties, Woodstock
Greene Catskill 113.89 21 NY 23 – Cairo, Catskill
New Baltimore 124.53 21B US 9W to NY 81 – Coxsackie, Ravena
Albany Coeymans 133.60 21A To I-90 east (Mass Turnpike) – Boston
Bethlehem 134.93 22 NY 144 to NY 396 – Selkirk
Albany 141.92 23 I-787 / US 9W – Albany, Troy, Rensselaer
148.15 24 I-87 north / I-90 east – Albany, Montreal North end of I-87 overlap; east end of I-90 overlap
Guilderland 153.83 25 I-890 / NY 7 / NY 146 – Schenectady
Schenectady Rotterdam 158.82 25A I-88 / NY 7 – Schenectady, Binghamton
162.22 26 I-890 / NY 5 / NY 5S – Schenectady, Scotia
Montgomery Amsterdam 173.59 27 NY 30 – Amsterdam
Glen 182.17 28 NY 30A – Fultonville, Fonda
Canajoharie 194.10 29 NY 10 – Canajoharie, Sharon Springs
Herkimer Danube 210.62 29A NY 169 – Little Falls, Dolgeville
Herkimer 219.70 30 NY 28 – Herkimer, Mohawk
Oneida Utica 232.85 31 I-790 / NY 8 / NY 12 – Utica
Westmoreland 243.37 32 NY 233 – Westmoreland, Rome
Verona 252.71 33 NY 365 – Verona, Oneida, Rome
Madison Canastota 261.5 34 NY 13 – Canastota, Chittenango, Oneida
Onondaga DeWitt 276.58 34A I-481 – Syracuse, Oswego, Chittenango
278.93 35 NY 298 – Syracuse, East Syracuse
Salina 282.93 36 I-81 – Watertown, Binghamton
283.79 37 Electronics Parkway – Liverpool, Syracuse
285.95 38 CR 57 – Liverpool, Syracuse
Van Buren 289.53 39 I-690 / NY 690 – Syracuse, Fulton
Cayuga Brutus 304.19 40 NY 34 – Weedsport, Auburn
Seneca Tyre 320.41 41 NY 414 – Waterloo, Clyde
Ontario Phelps 327.10 42 NY 14 – Geneva, Lyons
Manchester 340.15 43 NY 21 – Manchester, Palmyra
Farmington 347.13 44 NY 332 – Canandaigua, Victor
Victor 350.99 45 I-490 – Rochester, Victor
Monroe Henrietta 362.44 46 I-390 – Rochester, Corning
Genesee Le Roy 378.56 47 I-490 / NY 19 – LeRoy, Rochester
Batavia 390.13 48 NY 98 – Batavia
Pembroke 401.72 48A NY 77 – Pembroke, Medina
Erie Cheektowaga 417.27 49 NY 78 – Depew, Lockport
Amherst 419.69 Williamsville toll barrier
420.34 50 I-290 – Niagara Falls
Cheektowaga 420.70 50A Cleveland Drive Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
421.57 51 NY 33 – Buffalo Niagara International Airport, Buffalo Signed as exits 51W (west) and 51E (east)
423.19 52 Walden Avenue (NY 952Q) – Buffalo, Cheektowaga Signed as exits 52W (west) and 52E (east)
424.92 52A William Street
426.17 53 I-190 – Downtown Buffalo, Canada, Niagara Falls
West Seneca 427.94 54 NY 400 / NY 16 – West Seneca, East Aurora
429.47 55 US 219 / Ridge Road – Orchard Park, Springville, Lackawanna, West Seneca
430.51 Lackawanna toll barrier
Hamburg 432.45 56 NY 179 (Mile Strip Road) – Blasdell, Orchard Park
436.22 57 NY 75 – Hamburg, East Aurora
Evans 444.87 57A Eden, Angola
Chautauqua Hanover 455.54 58 US 20 / NY 5 – Silver Creek, Irving
Dunkirk 467.74 59 NY 60 – Dunkirk, Fredonia
Westfield 485.00 60 NY 394 – Westfield, Mayville
Ripley 494.51 Ripley toll barrier
494.92 61 Shortman Road (NY 950D) – Ripley
496.00 I-90 west Continuation into Pennsylvania
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Berkshire Connector

County Location Mile[2] Exit Destinations Notes
Albany Coeymans 0.00 21B-1-22-61 I-87 to I-90 – New York City, Albany, Buffalo Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
Castleton-on-Hudson Bridge over the Hudson River
Rensselaer Schodack
6.58 B1 I-90 west / US 9 – Albany, Hudson West end of I-90 overlap
Columbia Chatham 15.09 B2 Taconic Parkway / NY 295
Canaan 17.83 Canaan toll barrier
23.27 B3 NY 22 – Austerlitz, New Lebanon
24.28 I-90 east / Mass. Pike Continuation into Massachusetts
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Garden State Parkway Connector

The entire route is in Ramapo, Rockland County.

Mile[2] Exit Destinations Notes
0.00 CR 35 - Nanuet Northbound exit only; CR 35 not signed
14B-61-14-1 I-87 / I-287 – Albany, New York Northbound exit and southbound entrance
2.09 GS1 Red Schoolhouse Road (CR 41) – Chestnut Ridge Signed as Schoolhouse Road; southbound exit and northbound entrance
2.40 Garden State Parkway Continuation into New Jersey
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


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