Interstate 88 (Eastern)

Routing

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.

History

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 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 AASHTO on June 23, 1969, but never signed. A second plan to lengthen I-88 arose in 1999 when the Thruway Authority, NYSDOT and the 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

Highway Guides

Western Terminus - Interstate 81 - Binghamton, New York
Perspective from Interstate 88 west
Exit 2 departs I-88 west for the beginning of New York 12A. The state route crosses the Chenango River between I-88 and Chenango Village. Photo taken 05/11/05.
Interstate 88 replaced New York 7 in the role of the primary route between Binghamton and Schenectady. The state route intertwines with I-88 west from Schenectady, overlapping with the freeway between Exits 1 and 4. NY 7 parts ways with I-88 west for Port Dickinson just ahead of I-81. Photo taken 05/11/05.
Interstate 88 follows an elevated route west, crossing the Chenango River to the exchange with Interstate 81. The freeway defaults onto I-81 south toward Downtown Binghamton and I-86 / New York 17. Syracuse is a 70 mile drive to the north. Photo taken 05/11/05.
An Interstate 88 end shield stands along the southbound on-ramp to Interstate 81. Photo taken 05/11/05.
Perspective from Interstate 81 south
Interstate 81 southbound at the half diamond interchange (Exit 6) with Castle Creek Road to U.S. 11 at Hinmans Corners. U.S. 11 north to NY 12A and Chenango Bridge provides one of two routes connecting with I-88 east from I-81 south. Photo taken 05/11/05.
Continuing south from the wye interchange with Interstate 88 west, I-81 expands to four lanes. A lane drop occurs in a half mile for U.S. 11 (Front Street), where motorists can make a U-turn for I-81 north to I-88 east. Photo taken 05/11/05.
Entering the folded diamond interchange (Exit 5) with U.S. 11 (Front Street) on Interstate 81 southbound. I-81 combines with I-86 & New York 17 east in 1.25 miles. Photo taken 05/11/05.
Perspective from Interstate 81 north
Paralleling U.S. 11 and the Chenango River, Interstate 81 advances north 0.75 miles from the Front Street overpass to a wye interchange with Interstate 88 east. Photo taken by Douglas Kerr (07/26/02).
An auxiliary lane opens in both directions of I-81 between U.S. 11 (Exit 5) and Interstate 88. Albany lies 134 miles to the northeast, 16 miles beyond the end of I-88 at Schenectady. Photo taken 05/11/05.
Interstate 88 branches east from I-81 across the Chenango River into Chenango Bridge. The freeway east joins Binghamton with Colesville, Bainbridge and Oneonta. Photo taken 05/11/05.
Eastern Terminus - Interstate 90 - Schenectady, New York
Perspective from Interstate 88 east
A diamond interchange (Exit 25) links Interstate 88 with adjacent New York 7 (Duanesburg Road) just ahead of I-90 and the town of Rotterdam. Photo taken by Douglas Kerr (04/19/02).
A pair of end shields precede the New York Thruway toll plaza. Motorists bound for Schenectady via Interstate 890 are not charged a toll from Interstate 88 east. Photo taken by Chris Jordan (11/00).
Exiting the toll plaza, traffic partitions for Interstate 90 (New York Thruway). I-90 leaves the toll road 14 miles to the east at Interstate 87 (Adirondack Northway) for Albany. Heading west toward Utica, Syracuse and Rochester, I-90 reaches Buffalo in 265 miles. Photo taken by Douglas Kerr (04/19/02).
Perspective from Interstate 88 west
Exit 25 departs Interstate 88 to the immediate west of the New York Thruway toll plaza. A short access road links the freeway with NY 7 (Duanesburg Road) at Becker Road. Photo taken 06/28/05.
The first confirming marker for Interstate 88 westbound. Photo taken 06/28/05.
Perspective from Interstate 90 west
The second of three Schenectady interchanges along the New York Thruway joins I-90 with Interstate 88 west to New York 7 (Duanesburg Road) at Exit 25A. Photo taken 06/28/05.
Exit 25A leaves Interstate 90 west for I-88 to Binghamton and NY 7 back to Rotterdam. Syracuse lies 128 miles ahead on the New York Thruway. Photo taken by Chris Jordan (12/27/02).
Perspective from Interstate 90 east
The trumpet interchange (Exit 25A) with Interstate 88 west lies just south of a Delaware and Hudson Railway overpass. Photo taken by Douglas Kerr (04/01).

Sources:

  1. "Albany Firm Bids Low On I-88 Work." The Times Union (Albany, NY), December 24, 1986.
  2. "I-88 May Be Named After Anderson." The Times Union (Albany, NY), March 10, 1989.
  3. "Lawmakers OK Anderson Expressway." The Times Union (Albany, NY), June 29, 1989.
  4. "Thruway connector's name spurs question", Getting There (timesunion.com), March 25, 2010.

Page Updated June 9, 2015.

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