The Cross Westchester Expressway opened to traffic in December 1960 at a cost of $50 million. It was initially designated as Interstate 187 in August 1958 and as Interstate 487 when it opened. It was redesignated I-287 in 1961.2
An eastern extension of Interstate 287 was proposed by Robert Moses to complete the beltway around New York via the Oyster Bay-Rye Bridge. A 6.1 mile long cabled-stayed suspension bridge across Long Island Sound was envisioned to link the east end of I-287 at Rye with an extension of NY 135 (Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway). A study for the crossing was released by Moses in February 1966.3
Planning for the Oyster Bay-Rye Bridge halted in 1970. New studies were required following the implementation of stricter environmental legislation by the Federal government in 1970. An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was completed in November 1972 for a 16.5 mile roadway, including the span and approaches between I-95 and NY 25 in Syosset. New York State Mileage submitted the mileage for inclusion in the Interstate system under the Federal Highway Act of 1968.3
Residents in Rye, Oyster Bay and other locations along the proposed corridor organized to counter the bridge and extension of I-287. Their efforts and environmental concerns led to formal cancellation of the crossing by Governor Nelson Rockefeller on June 20, 1973.3
The cancellation of the Somerset Freeway in North Jersey in 1982, the proposed alignment for Interstate 95 between Lawrenceville and Metuchen, led to an extension of I-287 east from South Plainfield to the New Jersey Turnpike in Edison Township. This segment was previously designated as Interstate 95. AASHTO approved the renumbering on June 26, 1985.