Interstate 690 New York
Interstate 690 forms a through pass route and urban loop south from the New York Thruway to Lakeland, the New York State Fairgrounds, Solvay and the city of Syracuse. The freeway continues northwest from I-90 as New York 690 to bypass the village of Baldwinsville, while the east end serves commuter traffic in the town of Dewitt.
I-690 was one the few routes within the Interstate system with a traffic light (I-78 west of the Holland Tunnel in New Jersey is another). Serving the New York State Fair and the Lakeview Amphitheater, the signals were located at the west end of the State Fairgrounds Orange Lot. Operated by a state trooper, the lights were in place for a 12-day period during the annual New York State Fair.1
A $20 million proposal announced by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on January 23, 2017 included a new westbound on-ramp to I-690 from the Fairgrounds’s Orange Lot. The addition resulted in the removal of the temporary traffic light, which at times caused two-hour wait times. Other changes for the Orange Lot included paving and striping of a 65 acre section, expanding the vehicle capacity by 500 spaces to 7,500 overall, and adding E-ZPass parking lanes for faster payments.1
Substantially completed by October 31, 2018, funding by the $1.5 billion Upstate Revitalization Initiative paid for phase 1 of the State Fairgrounds project. Traffic patterns during the New York State Fair changed with the east entrance/exit to the Orange Lot converted to ingress only, and all egress movements shifted to the new on-ramp.1
The New York State Assembly approved a bill in June 2017 allowing toll free commuting along the New York Thruway (Interstate 90) between Exit 39 (Interstate 690) and Exit 34A (Interstate 481). The measure would have allowed local drivers to obtain a permit and use the Thruway through the Syracuse area without paying a fare. The Thruway Authority would also be able to restrict the use of the permits to non peak hours, or implement charges per mile if a significant loss of revenue occurs.4 Governor Andrew Cuomo subsuquently blocked this bill on October 23, 2017, indicating that the bill would violate state line:5
The state is prohibited from limiting or altering the rights of the New York State Thruway Authority to set tolls and fees that are deemed necessary to operate and maintain the Thruway system.
Passage of this bill would also serve as a catalyst for other jurisdictions to seek similar toll reductions, thus resulting in further and more expansive toll revenue loss.
Prohibiting the Thruway Authority from collecting tolls at these five exits would result in a “significant fiscal loss,” which would need to be addressed “in the context of the annual state budget negotiation.”
East End – East Syracuse, NY
West End – Van Buren, NY
Mileage – 14.19
Cities – Syracuse, East Syracuse
- Junctions –
Source: December 31, 2018 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
I-690 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)
|Location||Vehicles per day|
|NY 48 to NY 370/NY 31 east||11,591|
|NY 370/NY 31 east to NY 31 west||17,988|
|NY 31 north to CR 159||21,888|
|CR 159 to I-90 (Exit 1)||23,028|
|Exits 1 to 4||33,976|
|Exits 4 to 5||51,340|
|Exits 5 to 6||54,213|
|Exits 6 to 8||83,553|
|Exits 8 to 9||73,661|
|Exits 9 to 10||58,182|
|Exits 10 to 12||69,529|
|Exits 12 to I-81 west jct||75,659|
|I-81 west jct to Exit 13||86,333|
|Exit 13 to I-81 east jct||99,528|
|I-81 east jct to Exit 14||124,917|
|Exits 14 to 15||82,367|
|Exits 15 to 17||88,630|
|Exits 16 to 17||45,469|
|Exit 17 to I-481||54,843|
Source: 2015 NYSDOT Traffic Data Viewer
Interstate 690 was constructed in the early 1970s.2 The western terminus was reconfigured with a direct interchange at Interstate 90 in 1987.3
East End – East Syracuse, New York
West End – Van Buren, New York
- “NYS Fair officials: I-690 ramp not perfect but would ease jammed lot.” The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY), January 23, 2017.
- New York Routes – Routes 600-699.
- “I-690 Rebuilt to Safety Standards.” Syracuse Herald American (NY), January 25, 1987.
- “Assembly okays bill allowing toll-free commuting on Thruway in Syracuse area.” CNYCentral, June 21, 2017.
- “Gov. Cuomo vetoes bill that would make Thruway free for Syracuse commuters.” The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY), October 24, 2017.
Page updated January 28, 2019.