Interstate 190 (New York)

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Interstate 190

Niagara Thruway
I-190 highlighted in red
Route information
Auxiliary route of I-90
Maintained by NYSTA, NYSDOT and the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission
Length28.34 mi[1] (45.61 km)
Lake Erie Circle Tour.svg Lake Erie Circle Tour
NHSEntire route
Major junctions
South end I-90 / New York Thruway in Cheektowaga
Major intersections
North end Highway 405 at the Canada–US border in Lewiston
CountryUnited States
StateNew York
CountiesErie, Niagara
Highway system
NY 189 NY 190
NY 90I-90N NY 91

Interstate 190 (I-190, locally known as One-Ninety) is a north–south auxiliary Interstate Highway in the United States that connects I-90 in Buffalo, New York, with the Canadian border at Lewiston, New York, near Niagara Falls. Officially, I-190 from I-90 north to New York State Route 384 (NY 384) is named the Niagara Thruway and is part of the New York State Thruway system. The remainder, from NY 384 to Lewiston, is known as the Niagara Expressway and is maintained by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT).

The freeway bisects downtown Buffalo before crossing Grand Island and travelling around the outskirts of Niagara Falls before crossing the Niagara River on the Lewiston–Queenston Bridge into the Canadian province of Ontario. In Canada, the freeway continues as Ontario Highway 405, a short spur connecting with the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW), which in turn provides a freeway connection to Toronto, Canada's largest city. The 28.34-mile-long (45.61 km) route also provides access to the QEW at the Peace Bridge between Buffalo and Fort Erie, Ontario. I-190 is currently the only three-digit interstate to connect directly with Canada, and one of only two to connect to an international border, the other being I-110 in Texas.

Parts of the highway were built along the former right-of-ways of the Lehigh Valley Railroad and the Erie Canal. The entire route was built as part of the New York State Thruway in the late 1950s and early 1960s and was completed in 1964. The cost of I-190's construction had been paid off by 1996, and, by law, the tolls along the freeway were supposed to be removed at that point; however, this did not occur until 2006. The Grand Island tollbooths remained in place for 12 more years but were taken down in 2018 and replaced with high-speed electronic toll gantries.

Route description

I-190 approaching exit 11 in Buffalo

I-190 begins at an interchange with the New York State Thruway (I-90) in Cheektowaga in Erie County, just north of the West Seneca town line and east of the Buffalo city line. I-190 heads west into Buffalo, passing the former location of the City Line toll barrier ahead of an interchange with South Ogden Street (exit 1). Farther west, I-190 meets NY 354 (exit 2), NY 16 (exit 3), and several local streets before entering downtown Buffalo. Within the downtown area, I-190 passes between KeyBank Center and Sahlen Field near an interchange with NY 5 (exit 7) on the shores of Lake Erie. At NY 5, I-190 turns northward to follow the path of the Niagara River. Shortly after meeting NY 266 (exit 8) immediately northwest of downtown, I-190 interchanges with Porter Avenue (exit 9), a local roadway connecting I-190 to the Peace Bridge and, thus, the QEW in Canada.[3]

North of downtown Buffalo, I-190 follows the eastern edge of the Black Rock Channel (and passes the site of the former Black Rock toll barrier) before rejoining the banks of the Niagara near an exit with the Scajaquada Expressway (NY 198, exit 11). I-190 continues north through the northern extents of Buffalo, meeting multiple streets before separating from the Niagara and interchanging with NY 266 and NY 324 (exits 15 and 16) in quick succession. At exit 16, NY 324 joins I-190 northward through western Tonawanda. The two routes then meet I-290 and NY 266 a second time prior to crossing the Niagara River on the South Grand Island Bridge. NY 324 leaves the expressway shortly after arriving on Grand Island at exit 18.[3]

Helvetica signage for exit 18A on I-190

I-190 and NY 324 follow parallel routings across Grand Island, with both roads passing on opposite sides of Niagara Amusement Park & Splash World, a local amusement park, near the center of the island. At the northern edge of the island, NY 324, as signed, terminates at exit 20; however, officially, NY 324 rejoins I-190 across the Niagara River once again via the North Grand Island Bridge. Now in Niagara Falls, Niagara County, NY 324 ends at a complex interchange featuring NY 384, the Niagara Scenic Parkway, and the LaSalle Expressway on the eastern bank of the river. Farther north, I-190 meets US Route 62 (US 62) at exit 22 and NY 182 at exit 23.[3]

Past NY 182, I-190 turns to the northwest, skirting the northeastern edge of Niagara Falls and roughly paralleling NY 265 to the east. In Lewiston, the expressway meets NY 31 at exit 24 southwest of the large Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant reservoir. I-190 continues onward, crossing the canal between the reservoir and the power plant on a small dam also used by NY 265. The freeway then interchanges with NY 265, the Niagara Scenic Parkway, and NY 104 at the expansive exit 25 before curving to the west and terminating at the approach to the Lewiston–Queenston Bridge. Across the bridge in Queenston, Ontario, the roadway becomes Highway 405.[3]


Interstate 90N


The portion of modern I-190 south of NY 384 in Niagara Falls was originally built by the New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA) as part of the New York State Thruway system. The first section of the highway opened on September 12, 1951, from Porter Street south to Court Street (a street that has since been removed, as well as its exit).[5] Construction on two segments of the highway—from South Ogden Street to Porter Avenue in downtown Buffalo and from Beaver Island Parkway to West River Road on Grand Island—began in 1953.[6] On Grand Island, construction began to connect the two existing two-lane bridges on July 16, 1954.[7] By 1955, construction had begun on the remainder of the Niagara Thruway.[8] November 8, 1956 saw the opening of the section along Grand Island.[9] On July 30, 1959, the thruway was opened from the Tri-Level Interchange at I-90 to Court Street and from Sheridan Drive to the southern Grand Island bridge.[10] The remainder of the highway, with the exception of the twinned Grand Island bridges, was completed on September 2, 1960.[11]

On August 14, 1957, the routing of what is now I-190 (including the then-partially complete Niagara Thruway) was originally designated as I-90N, as intercity routes were assigned before auxiliary Interstate numbers were applied to the shorter intracity routes.[4] I-90N was renumbered to I-190 on February 24, 1959.[2] Construction on the portion of I-190 north of NY 384 began c. 1962.[12][13] The first segment, connecting the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge to NY 31 was completed on November 1, 1962, coinciding with the opening of the bridge.[14] An extension to US 62 opened on September 11, 1963,[15] and the whole route was completed on November 15 that year.[16]

In 1991, maintenance of I-84 in downstate New York was transferred from NYSDOT to the NYSTA. The monies for that purpose came from tolls levied on I-190 in downtown Buffalo.[17] Under the laws authorizing the thruway construction, the tolls were to be removed once the original bonds used to pay for the construction were paid off, which occurred in 1996; however, the tolls would remain for 10 more years. Attorney Carl Paladino brought a lawsuit against the state in 2006 to force the removal of the tolls.[18] On October 30, 2006, the NYSTA voted to both begin the process of returning maintenance of I-84 to NYSDOT and to remove the tolls on I-190 in Buffalo. Collection of the tolls stopped that day.[19] Both major candidates in the 2006 New York gubernatorial election, Democrat Eliot Spitzer and Republican John Faso, had pledged to remove the tolls on I-190 if elected.[20] While the toll barriers in Buffalo were demolished, the tolls further north on the two Grand Island bridges remained for another 12 years.[21][22] They were finally replaced with electronic tolling in 2018 and have since been demolished.[23]

Exit list

ErieCheektowaga0.000.00 I-90 / New York Thruway – Buffalo Airport, Albany, ErieExit 53 on I-90 / Thruway
Buffalo0.701.131South Ogden Street
NY 354 (Clinton Street) to US 62 (Bailey Avenue)
2.223.573 NY 16 (Seneca Street)Southbound exit and northbound entrance
3.145.054Smith Street / Fillmore Avenue
3.796.105Hamburg StreetNorthbound exit and entrance
4.136.65Louisiana StreetSouthbound exit and entrance
4.998.036Elm Street – Canalside
NY 5 / LECT west – Buffalo Outer Harbor, Lackawanna
No northbound exit
5.208.37Church Street – Buffalo Outer HarborNo southbound exit
5.869.438 NY 266 (Niagara Street)
6.5810.599 LECT (Porter Avenue / Niagara Street) – Peace Bridge, Fort Erie, CanadaTo Queen Elizabeth Way and Ontario Highway 3
NY 198 east (Scajaquada Expressway)
Western terminus of NY 198
9.1814.7712Amherst StreetNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
9.4415.1913Austin StreetNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
9.8815.9014Ontario StreetSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
10.5016.90Vulcan StreetNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
Town of Tonawanda12.3619.8915
NY 324 east (Sheridan Drive) / Kenmore Avenue
Southern temrinus of concurrency with NY 324; northbound access via NY 325

I-290 east to I-90 – Rochester, Tonawanda
Western terminus of I-290
14.2022.8517 NY 266 (River Road) – North Tonawanda, TonawandaSigned as "Tonawandas" on guide signs
14.2622.95Tonawanda toll gantry (northbound)[25]
Niagara River14.50–
South Grand Island Bridge
Grand Island15.3524.7018A
NY 324 west (Grand Island Boulevard)
Northern terminus of concurrency with NY 324; northbound exit and southbound entrance
15.4624.8818BBeaver Island State ParkSigned as exit 18 southbound
17.2727.7919Whitehaven Road
NY 324 east (Grand Island Boulevard) / Long Road
Signed as exit 20 northbound; southern terminus of concurrency with NY 324
19.6931.6920AWest River RoadNo northbound exit
20.2232.54Niagara Falls toll gantry (southbound)[25]
Niagara River20.32–
North Grand Island Bridge
NiagaraNiagara Falls21.1434.0221 NY 384 (Buffalo Avenue) / Niagara Scenic Parkway – Niagara FallsNorthern terminus of concurrency with NY 324; western terminus of NY 324
21.2434.18Niagara Thruway (NYSTA maintenance) transitions to Niagara Expressway (NYSDOT maintenance)
LaSalle Expressway east – North Tonawanda, Tonawanda
Signed as "Tonawandas" on guide signs
22.0835.5322 US 62 (Niagara Falls Boulevard) – Niagara Falls International Airport
Niagara23.7438.2123 NY 182 (Packard Road / Porter Road)
25.8741.6324 NY 31 (Witmer Road)
Town of Lewiston27.7244.6125A NY 265 – LewistonNo southbound exit
27.7244.6125B NY 104 / Niagara Scenic Parkway – LewistonSigned as exit 25 southbound; also serves CBP staff parking lot via Upper Mountain Road
Niagara River28.3445.61Lewiston–Queenston Bridge
Canada–United States border
Highway 405 west – St. Catharines, Hamilton, TorontoContinuation into Ontario
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also


  1. ^ 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 November 29, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (2006). "Today in Interstate History: February 24". Retrieved April 22, 2012. February 24, 1959: The American Association of State Highway Officials formally approved changing the designation for I-90N in New York to I-190.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d Microsoft; Nokia (September 13, 2012). "overview map of Interstate 190" (Map). Bing Maps. Microsoft. Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  4. ^ a b Official Route Numbering for the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways (Map). American Association of State Highway Officials. August 14, 1957.
  5. ^ "One Mile Of Thruway". Buffalo Courier Express. 1951-09-15. p. 12. Retrieved 2023-11-28.
  6. ^ Goldman, Mark (1990). City on the Lake: The Challenge of Change in Buffalo, New York. Prometheus Books. p. 31. ISBN 0879755792.
  7. ^ "Niagara Thruway Begun". The New York Times. July 17, 1954. p. 11.
  8. ^ "Thruway Spurs in North Rushed". The New York Times. August 6, 1955. p. 57.
  9. ^ "Another Thruway Link". Buffalo Courier Express. 1956-11-08. p. 28. Retrieved 2023-12-18.
  10. ^ "Thruway Crosses Buffalo as Niagara Strip Opens". The New York Times. July 30, 1959. p. 10.
  11. ^ "Procession Opens Thruway North to Sheridan Drive". The Buffalo News. 1960-09-02. p. 1. Retrieved 2023-12-18.
  12. ^ New York and Metropolitan New York (Map) (1961–62 ed.). Cartography by H.M. Gousha Company. Sunoco. 1961.
  13. ^ New York with Sight-Seeing Guide (Map). Cartography by General Drafting. Esso. 1962.
  14. ^ "Niagara Expressway Opening New Section". The Daily Item. 1962-11-01. p. 3. Retrieved 2023-12-18.
  15. ^ "N. Y.-Toronto Express Link Within 1.3 Miles of Reality". The Buffalo News. 1963-09-12. p. 7. Retrieved 2023-12-18.
  16. ^ "Expressway Section To Be Opened Today". Buffalo Courier Express. 1963-11-15. p. 26. Retrieved 2023-12-18.
  17. ^ Rife, Judy (September 20, 2007). "Thruway retains I-84 upkeep". Times Herald-Record. Middletown, NY. Retrieved October 30, 2007.
  18. ^ Smerd, Jeremy (September 26, 2010). "Accidental candidate". Crain's New York Business. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
  19. ^ "Thruway Authority Tolls Ceased At Black Rock and City Line Toll Barriers" (Press release). New York State Thruway Authority. October 30, 2006. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved October 30, 2007.
  20. ^ Fink, James (October 30, 2006). "I-190 tolls in rear-view mirror". Business First of Buffalo. Retrieved October 30, 2007.
  21. ^ "The Grand Island Bridges". Niagara Falls Info. Retrieved January 31, 2014.
  22. ^ "The I-190 Tolls". Higgins for Congress. Archived from the original on January 24, 2014. Retrieved January 31, 2014.
  23. ^ "Grand Island cashless tolls begin; here's what you need to know". WGRZ. Retrieved August 12, 2022.
  24. ^ Mileage derived as follows:
  25. ^ a b "Gantry Locations". New York State Thruway Authority. November 7, 2014. Retrieved August 2, 2021.

External links