Interstate 690

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Interstate 690

Map of Syracuse, New York, with I-690 highlighted in red
Route information
Auxiliary route of I-90
Maintained by NYSDOT
Length14.19 mi[3][4] (22.84 km)
Existedearly 1960s[1][2]–present
NHSEntire route
Major junctions
West end
I-90 Toll / New York Thruway / NY 690 in Van Buren
Major intersections NY 695 in Geddes

NY 298 in Syracuse

I-81 / US 11 / NY 5 in Syracuse
East end I-481 in DeWitt
CountryUnited States
StateNew York
Highway system
I-687 NY 690

Interstate 690 (I-690) is an auxiliary Interstate Highway that extends for 14.19 miles (22.84 km) through the vicinity of Syracuse, New York, in the United States. It is a spur of I-90 (here part of the New York State Thruway) that travels southeast from Thruway exit 39 in Van Buren to I-481 in DeWitt. In between, I-690 passes through the western suburbs of Syracuse before heading east through the city itself, where it meets I-81 in Downtown Syracuse. The expressway continues northwest of the thruway as New York State Route 690 (NY 690).

Route description

I-690 begins at a double trumpet interchange with the New York State Thruway (I-90) in the town of Van Buren. The six-lane, fully-shouldered limited-access highway continues north toward Baldwinsville as NY 690 while I-690 travels east from the junction. Even though I-690 continues north of the thruway as NY 690, the numbering system on I-690 does not continue with the route. The interchange with the thruway is labeled as exit 1, leaving exits on NY 690 without numbers. Additionally, NY 690 is signed north–south while I-690 is signed east–west. Before physically crossing I-90, it features a partial interchange with John Glenn Boulevard and turns southeast.

I-81 at I-690 in Downtown Syracuse

After crossing and connecting with State Fair Boulevard at exit 5, I-690 runs along the western shore of Onondaga Lake, passing under many pedestrian bridges. The highway serves the New York State Fairgrounds by way of exits 6 and 7, the former a large directional T interchange with NY 695. Within this interchange was a signalized, at-grade intersection that connected I-690 to a parking area. For 12 days each year, the light was used to allow buses to carry New York State Fair attendees from the parking area across the road to the fair. I-690 was one of only a few Interstate Highways to feature a traffic light. Construction began in 2019 and finished in 2020 of a bridge overpass to this parking area, eliminating the need for a traffic signal.

The freeway continues along the shore and bears toward the downtown area, where the shoulders frequently disappear and the buildings are often situated close to the freeway. It passes over a railroad grade and Hiawatha Boulevard before meeting NY 298 (Bear Street) at exit 9. In the interchange with NY 5 one mile (1.6 km) to the east, two lanes of I-690 disappear, and I-81 follows directly after in the center of the city with an incomplete interchange. There is no direct freeway ramp from I-690 east to I-81 north and I-81 south to I-690 west. NY 298, which connects to I-81 at exit 22 west of the I-81/I-690 interchange, must be used to make these connections.

I-690 rewidens to six lanes as it proceeds eastward out of Downtown Syracuse. Two miles (3.2 km) from downtown, it connects to Burnet and Midler avenues by way of exit 15. The latter is designated as NY 598; however, it is not signed as such from I-690. After a curve to the southeast, NY 635 meets the route at a cloverleaf interchange, utilizing collector–distributor roads to do so. The collector–distributor roads continue to a partial cloverleaf interchange (parclo) with Bridge Street, where they end. Shortly after this interchange, I-690 terminates at I-481.


The portion of the modern I-690 corridor west of Downtown Syracuse was originally served by NY 48, a route assigned as part of the 1930 renumbering of state highways in New York.[5] NY 48 followed the length of State Fair Boulevard from Van Buren to Downtown Syracuse, where it followed several local streets to reach NY 5.[6] In 1954, this highway was linked to the New York State Thruway; to accomodate the traffic it brought, a section its original exit, just north of Walters Road, to Van Vleck Road was upgraded to a four-lane boulevard in time for the New York State Fair on September 5, 1954. In the early 1960s, work began on a new freeway extending from there to downtown Syracuse by way of the western shoreline of Onondaga Lake. The new road, designated as I-690, was completed from the thruway to NY 298 by 1962. I-690 supplanted State Fair Boulevard as the primary highway through the area, and cut off a section southeast from NY 297. As a result, NY 48 was truncated to its current southern terminus in Van Buren.[1][2] The western leg of I-690 was completed along with the opening of the Onondaga Interchange with I-81 on August 22, 1968.[7]

Opening of the section east of the interchange opened in rapid succession from 1969. May 15 of that year saw the opening of the section east to Midler Avenue.[8][9] The section of I-690 between Midler Avenue and I-481 was completed on January 7, 1971.[10] The section of I-690 near the New York State Fairgrounds was originally a surface highway. With the construction of the Camillus Bypass, this section was reconstructed with a new eastbound carriageway; this section was opened just before the bypass was opened on August 29, 1977.[11] I-690 gained a mile (1.6 km) when its western terminus was relocated on November 1, 1987. The interchange with the thruway was relocated and completely rebuilt, forcing a complete renumbering of all the exits on the highway. In addition, at–grade intersections of the highway in the vicinity of the exit were removed, making the full highway a freeway.[12]

I-690 follows the former New York Central Railroad (NYC) roadbed through a portion of Downtown Syracuse and actually cuts through the site of the former Syracuse station. A remnant of the former railroad station platforms is visible to the north of the freeway, with plaster statues of people waiting for trains, who are occasionally dressed up for winter by area residents with scarves and other winter apparel. Time Warner Cable, which restored the building as the base of its Central New York operations and Spectrum News 1 Central New York, also has a rail-focussed mural along the back of that building fronting I-690.[13]

In mid-2009, the New York State Department of Transportation posted new milemarkers on both NY 690 and I-690. The mileposts treat the entire length of both routes as a single entity, with mile 0 being at the northern terminus of NY 690 at NY 48 and mile 20 being near the eastern terminus of I-690 at I-481.

There have been plans for decades to extend I-690 eastward from I-481 to Manlius or to the far east suburb of Chittenango; however, these plans have yet to become a reality.[14] Several unused ramps exist at the interchange between I-481 and I-690, intended to connect to an extended I-690.[15]


As part of the community grid solution for I-81 in Downtown Syracuse, a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) section of I-690 around the intersection with I-81 will be rebuilt. Bridges along this section will be replaced, and the rebuilt highway will feature wider lanes and bigger shoulders. The state is also proposing the elimination of exit 13 (Townsend Street), the restructuring of exits 11 (West Street) and 12 (West Genesee Street), and the addition of an exit at Crouse Avenue and Irving Avenue to provide better access to Syracuse University. Construction along I-690 is part of Phase Two of the community grid project, which would take approximately three years. The entire project is expected to start mid-2020 and take five years. Also, the existing exit numbers along I-690 will be renumbered to reflect the mile-based exit numbers.[16][17][18][needs update]

Exit list

The entire route is in Onondaga County.

Van Buren0.000.00
NY 690 north – Baldwinsville
Continuation north
I-90 Toll / New York Thruway – Albany, Buffalo
Exit 39 on I-90 / Thruway
0.310.502Jones Road
NY 48 north (Farrell Road)
Westbound exit and entrance; southern terminus of NY 48
To NY 370 / John Glenn Boulevard – Liverpool
2.053.305State Fair Boulevard / Van Vleck Road – Lakeland

NY 695 south to NY 5 – Auburn, Lakeland
Northern terminus of NY 695
5.288.507 NY 297 – Solvay, FairgroundsNorthern terminus of NY 297
Syracuse7.1411.498Hiawatha Boulevard – Destiny USAEastbound exit and westbound entrance

NY 298 (Bear Street) to I-81 north – Watertown
Eastbound exit and westbound entrance; southern terminus of NY 298
7.7512.4710North Geddes StreetWestbound exit and eastbound entrance
8.2213.2311West Street
8.3913.5012West Genesee Street (NY 5) - Downtown SyracuseEastbound exit and entrance
9.0014.48 I-81 – Binghamton, WatertownNo eastbound access to I-81 north
9.2914.9513Townsend Street – Downtown Syracuse, Syracuse UniversityWestbound exit and eastbound entrance
10.3216.6114Teall Avenue
11.2818.1515Midler Avenue (NY 598)
SyracuseEast Syracuse line12.3419.8616 NY 635 (Thompson Road)Signed as exits 16N (north) and 16S (south)
East Syracuse13.1921.2317Bridge Street – East Syracuse

I-481 to I-90 Toll / New York Thruway – DeWitt
Exit 4 on I-481
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also


  1. ^ a b New York and Metropolitan New York (Map) (1961–62 ed.). Cartography by H.M. Gousha Company. Sunoco. 1961.
  2. ^ a b New York with Sight-Seeing Guide (Map) (1962 ed.). Cartography by General Drafting. Esso. 1962.
  3. ^ a b "2008 Traffic Volume Report for New York State" (PDF). New York State Department of Transportation. June 16, 2009. p. 243. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 27, 2012. Retrieved February 1, 2010.
  4. ^ Starks, Edward (January 27, 2022). "Table 2: Auxiliary Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways". FHWA Route Log and Finder List. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  5. ^ Automobile Legal Association (ALA) Automobile Green Book, 1930–31 and 1931–32 editions, (Scarborough Motor Guide Co., Boston, 1930 and 1931). The 1930–31 edition shows New York state routes prior to the 1930 renumbering
  6. ^ Texaco Road Map – New York (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally and Company. Texas Oil Company. 1932.
  7. ^ "Onondaga Interchange To Be Open". The Ithaca Journal. 1968-08-15. p. 13. Retrieved 2023-12-24.
  8. ^ "City To Lay Asphalt Covering in Area of 690 Interchange". Syracuse Post Standard. May 13, 1969. Retrieved December 24, 2023.
  9. ^ "Trucks And Construction Jar Nerves And Traffic". The Eagle Bulletin, Dewitt News-Times. April 17, 1969. Retrieved December 24, 2023.
  10. ^ "Route 690 Section Opens Today". Syracuse Post Standard. January 7, 1971. Retrieved December 24, 2023.
  11. ^ "Bypass opens Tuesday". Syracuse Herald Journal. August 24, 1977. Retrieved December 24, 2023.
  12. ^ "State Thruway exit opens". Syracuse Herald Journal. November 2, 1987. Retrieved December 24, 2023.
  13. ^ Case, Dick (20 December 2009). "Mystery Santa's helper each year puts the red scarves on statues along I-690". The Post Standard. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  14. ^ "Syracuse Highways: A Brief Historical Overview". Retrieved March 28, 2007.
  15. ^ Google (July 14, 2010). "aerial view of I-481/I-690 interchange" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved July 14, 2010.
  16. ^ Weaver, Teri (2019-06-12). "I-81 project includes full rebuild of 1.5 miles of I-690 in Syracuse". syracuse. Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  17. ^ McMahon, Julie (2019-04-22). "I-81 timeline: Community grid will take 5 years of construction, NY says". syracuse. Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  18. ^ CNYCentral (2019-04-23). "I-81 Timeline: What happens next?". WSTM. Retrieved 2019-10-10.

External links