Interstate 190 in New York is the spur of Interstate 90/New York Thruway that leads from the mainline north to downtown Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and Grand Island. This is one of two three-digit Interstate highways to enter a foreign country (the other is hidden Interstate 110 Texas in El Paso, which crosses into Mexico (Ciudad Juarez) at the Cordova Port of Entry.
Tolls on Interstate 190
Known as the Niagara Section of the New York Thruway, Interstate 190 originally had toll barriers at four locations: west of Interstate 90, south of the Peace Bridge, and at the two Niagara River crossings. The bridge crossings have tolls that are levied on inbound traffic only. During the 1950s and 1960s, when the New York Thruway came into existance, all the exits on the "Niagara Section" were numbered with the prefix of N-xx. This practice was done to distinguish them from mainline Thruway exit numbering system.2
Erie County Clerk David J. Swarts presented a petition of about 20,000 signatures to regional transportation officials advocating the removal of the Interstate 190 toll plazas within the city of Buffalo. The contention was that Buffalo is the only upstate city in New York that had tolls levied on its commuters. He cited the differences between Buffalo and Rochester as a justification for the toll removal.
A similar concern arose in the early 2000s from Grand Island commuters concerning the tolled Niagara River spans of Interstate 190. These residents were somewhat successful in their complaints in that they were granted special commuter rates for returning to the island via the Grand Island bridges.1
Efforts to remove the two Buffalo toll plazas were successful. Tolls along Interstate 190 in Buffalo ceased to exist on October 30, 2006 by order of the New York Thruway Authority.3
Designated Interstate 90N in 1957, the Niagara Section of the New York Thruway connects Interstate 90 with downtown Buffalo and Niagara Falls. Renumbering of the route to Interstate 190 followed on February 24, 1959.3
Southern Terminus - Interstate 90/New York Thruway - Buffalo, New York
Perspective from Interstate 190 south
Interstate 190 sees its last mainline off-ramp to South Ogden Street before ending at Interstate 90/New York Thruway. The freeway maintains three lanes through until the terminus. Photo taken by Chris Elbert (07/06).
A second diagrammatic sign is posted as Interstate 190 south approaches Interstate 90/New York State Thruway. Photo taken by Chris Elbert (07/06).
Southbound Interstate 190/Niagara Section of the New York State Thruway comes to an end. The guide signage includes the division of New York Thruway exit numbers, similarly to the eastern terminus of Interstate 290 five miles to the north. The Thruway however, is free between Interstate 290/Exit 50 and U.S. 219/Exit 55 to the south. Photo taken by Chris Elbert (07/06).
Perspective from Interstate 90 west
Westbound Interstate 90/New York Thruway reaches Exit 52A, William Street. The next interchange is Exit 51, Junction Interstate 190/Niagara Section of the New York Thruway. Interstate 190 serves downtown Buffalo and Niagara Falls before crossing into Canada as Ontario Provincial Route 405. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (07/01/07).
A diagrammatic sign is posted on Interstate 90/New York Thruway west for the junction with Interstate 190/Niagara Section of the New York Thruway. Interstate 190 branches to the west, serving downtown Buffalo and traffic to the Rainbow Bridge into Fort Erie, Ontario. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (07/01/07).
Westbound Interstate 90/New York Thruway reaches Exit 51, Junction Interstate 190/Niagara Section of the New York Thruway. The left three lanes of the Thruway continue west toward Erie, Pennsylvania, and Cleveland, Ohio. The exit to Interstate 190 is one lane. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (07/01/07).
This tri-level stack interchange marks the southern terminus of Interstate 190 as seen from Interstate 90 west. The next Thruway exit occurs at Exit 54 for the New York 400/Aurora Expressway. Photo taken 05/27/00.
Perspective from Interstate 90 east
Passing underneath the Interstate 90/190 tri-level stack interchange on Interstate 90 eastbound. There are four more Buffalo exits before the Thruway is again tolled. They are Exit 52A//Williams Street, Exit 52E/W/Walden Avenue, Exit 51/New York 33, the Kensington Expressway, and Exit 52/Interstate 290 west, the Youngmann or Powerline Expressway. Photo taken by Douglas Kerr (10/19/02).
Northern Terminus - Canadian International Border - Lewiston, New York
Perspective from Interstate 190 north
Interstate 190 enters its final interchange before encountering the customs station for the entry into Ontario, Canada. Exit 25A links to New York 265, a north-south roadway between Niagara Falls and Lewiston. Photo taken 05/27/00.
An unobstructed view of the Interstate 190 northbound sign bridge at Exit 25A. The final U.S. exit is a cloverleaf ramp to New York 104 and the Robert Moses Parkway. Exit 25A and B intersect a connecting roadway between the two aforementioned state highways. Photo taken by Douglas Kerr (05/06/02).
Interstate 190 at Exit 25B, New York 104 and the Robert Moses Parkway. Both roadways travel southward into downtown Niagara Falls. Traffic continuing westward into Canada faces a toll plaza for the Niagara River bridge and customs facilities. Interstate 190 transitions into Ontario 405 en route to Saint Catherines. Photo taken 05/27/00.
"Petition supports case for removing toll barriers." Buffalo News, November 11, 2003.
Cuff, Richard. "Thruway Exit Numbering (was: Re: [northeastroads] Re: Who else out there hates I-99)." Online posting, Yahoo! Groups Northeastern U.S. Roads, November 20, 2003.