Interstate 88 (Eastern)
An intrastate route in Upstate New York, Interstate 88 angles northeast from Binghamton to the Capital District along a scenic and rural route. Smaller cities and towns along the route include Sidney, Oneonta and Cobleskill. East from Harpursville, I-88 travels along side the Susquehanna River through a valley to the Town of Milford by South Hill.
Not incorporated in the original 1956 Interstate Highway plans, the eastern Interstate 88 was established in 1967.1 The New York Legislature authorized the highway in 1968, with major construction underway between 1974 and 1980 at a cost of $500 million.2 The freeway replaced New York Route 7 between the Southern Tier and Schenectady.
The last portion built was the 1.5 mile segment between Interstate 81 and Chenango Bridge. Included on this section is the 2,650 foot long bridge across the Chenango River. Work on the $20.3 million link ran from 1987 to January 1, 1989.1 The freeway was named the Warren M. Anderson Expressway in 1989, after the former state Senate majority leader and proponent of the I-88 corridor.3
An eastern extension between Schenectady to Albany was approved by the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) on June 23, 1969, but never signed. A second plan to lengthen I-88 arose in 1999 when the Thruway Authority, New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) proposed renumbering the free portion of I-90 between the Thruway Mainline and the Berkshire Spur as I-88 while shifting Interstate 90 entirely on the toll road system. This was also never implemented.4
Interstate 88 was fully open from NY 7 north of Port Dickinson to Oneonta in 1979. The portion east from Oneonta to U.S. 20 near Duanesburg was completed the following year.
Source: December 31, 2021 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
Earlier proposals for Interstate 88 took the easternmost stretch of the route to the New York Thruway opposite the south end of I-890. The route was ultimately constructed to end at a point midway between the ends of I-890. Motorists entering the Thruway from I-88 may travel the toll road for free to Schenectady.
East End – Schenectady, New York
West End – Binghamton, New York
West End Throwback
- “Albany Firm Bids Low On I-88 Work.” The Times Union (Albany, NY), December 24, 1986.
- “I-88 May Be Named After Anderson.” The Times Union (Albany, NY), March 10, 1989.
- “Lawmakers OK Anderson Expressway.” The Times Union (Albany, NY), June 29, 1989.
- “Thruway connector’s name spurs question“, Getting There (timesunion.com), March 25, 2010.
Page updated April 4, 2023.