Interstate 290 New York


Interstate 290 forms a northern bypass of the city of Buffalo and a commuter route. The freeway links the New York Thruway (Interstate 90) mainline with the New York Thruway - Niagara Section (Interstate 190). Some maps show it as the Youngmann Expressway, while others show it as the Powerline Expressway. The "power line" name is derived from the parallel transmission lines along the freeway corridor.


Interstate 290 opened in 1965.1 The designation given to I-290 was Interstate 190 by AASHO in August 1958.

Highway Guides

Western Terminus - Interstate 190/New York Thruway - Tonawanda, New York
Perspective from Interstate 290 west
The final interchange on westbound Interstate 290/Youngmann Expressway is with Interstate 190/Niagara Section of the New York State Thruway. There is no end Interstate 290 shield assembly. Photo taken by Chris Elbert (07/06).
The right lanes of westbound Interstate 290 connect to Interstate 190 north to Niagara Falls, while the left lane transitions to Interstate 190 south to Buffalo. Photo taken by Chris Elbert (07/06).
Interstate 290 concludes at the Interstate 190 ramp partitioning in this photograph. Traffic turning to the north will see the South Grand Island Bridge in one mile. Buffalo-bound motorists see an eight mile drive to the downtown area of the city. Photo taken by Chris Elbert (07/06).
Perspective from Interstate 290 east
This is the first eastbound reassurance shield of Interstate 290. Exit 1, approximately two miles ahead, serves Tonawanda and North Tonawanda via New York 384/Delaware Avenue. Photo taken 05/27/00.
Perspective from Interstate 190 south
Interstate 190/Niagara Section of the New York State Thruway south approaches Exit 16, Interstate 290 west. Interstate 290/Youngmann Expressway (Powerline Expressway) provides a direct link to Interstate 90 and the New York Thruway for traffic emanating from Niagara Falls, Grand Island, and Ontario, Canada. Photo taken by Chris Elbert (07/06).
Eight miles to the north of downtown Buffalo, directional guide signage for the western terminus of Interstate 290/Exit 16. Interstate 290 is shown on some maps as the Powerline Expressway, labeled such due to the parallel power corridor from facilities to the north at Niagara Falls. Photo taken by Chris Elbert (07/06).
A second perspective of the Interstate 190 southbound ramp for Interstate 290 east/Exit 16. There are seven numbered exits for Interstate 290, two of which serve the north Buffalo suburb of Tonawanda. The New York Thruway control point of Rochester is 75 miles east via Interstates 90 and 490 from this point. Photo taken by Chris Elbert (07/06).
Perspective from Interstate 190 north
Diagram signage on Interstate 190 northbound for Exit 16/Interstate 290. Note that three northbound lanes out of Buffalo reduce to two at the Interstate 290 interchange. Although omitted from signage, Interstate 290 also serves the University at Buffalo, situated within the vicinity of Interstate 990. Photo taken by Brian LeBlanc (03/23/02).
Interstate 190 northbound at Exit 16/Interstate 290 east. Similar to signage in the southbound direction, Interstate 290 features an Interstate 90 trailblazer and New York Thruway control point of Rochester. It is surprising that Albany is not featured in lieu of Rochester, as it is the city of choice for all points east of Buffalo. Photo taken by Brian LeBlanc (03/23/02).
Perspective from New York 324
Interstate 290 and Interstate 190 sign bridge on a Interstate 190 northbound distributor lane from the New York 324 (Sheridan Drive) exit. Note at the interchange between Interstate 190 and 290 is indeed stacked as this vantagepoint shows. Photo taken by Douglas Kerr (11/10/01).
Eastern Terminus - Interstate 90 (New York Thruway) - Williamsville, New York
Perspective from Interstate 290 east
Interstate 90 and New York 5 overhead on Interstate 290 eastbound at Exit 7B. The New York 5/Main Street eastbound ramp is the last mainline exit of Interstate 290 before reaching the New York Thruway. Motorists not wishing to pay New York Thruway tolls can take Interstate 90 westbound. The New York Thruway is free between Interstate 290 and U.S. 219 to the south via Interstate 90 west. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (07/01/07).
Interstate 290 prepares to end as this diagram overhead for Interstate 90 advises motorists of the coming junction with Interstate 90 (New York Thruway). Instead of this being Exit 8, exit tabs show the division between New York Thruway exits to the west and east of Interstate 290. Note the subtle changes in signage between 2002 and 2007, especially the placement of the exit tabs. Photos taken by Jeff Morrison (07/01/07) and Douglas Kerr (03/09/02).
Interstate 290 east curves to the south when meeting Interstate 90 (New York Thruway). Therefore traffic destined for Cheektowaga, West Seneca, Lackawanna, Erie, Cleveland, and points west continue straight. Meanwhile the Interstate 90 (New York Thruway) east ramp departs to the left, encountering a toll plaza within one mile. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (07/01/07).
Perspective from Interstate 90 west
After paying tolls for the New York Thruway, westbound drivers of Interstate 90 encounter Interstate 290 west/Exit 50, the first of seven Buffalo area exits. There are no tolls levied between Exits 50 and 55. Photo taken by Chris Elbert (07/06).
Perspective from Interstate 90 east
The second to last free exit of the New York Thruway is that of New York 33. The Kensington Expressway, as New York 33 is also known, serves downtown Buffalo from the east, connecting the city with the Buffalo/Niagara International Airport. The next exit as the signage indicates, is for Exit 50, the eastern terminus of Interstate 290. Photos taken by Bryan Farr (02/09/02) and Douglas Kerr (05/06/02).
Button copy signage adorns this overpass as Interstate 90 prepares to turn east towards Rochester via the tolled New York Thruway. Two lanes serve Exit 50, the westbound beginning of Interstate 290 and last free exit of the Thruway. Interstate 290 serves the northern suburbs of Amherst and Tonawanda before concluding at Interstate 190 for Niagara Falls bound motorists. Photo taken by Douglas Kerr (05/06/02).


  1. Interstate 290 (New York) @

Page Updated August 14, 2007.

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State New York
Mileage 9.80
Cities Buffalo, Tonawanda, Amherst
Junctions I-190, I-90
Source: December 31, 2016 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
I-290 New York Annual Average Daily Traffic

County From: To: AADT Composite
Erie I-190 & NY 324 Exit 1 NY 384 63,300
Erie Exit 1 NY 384 Exit 2 NY 425 95,600
Erie Exit 2 NY 425 Exit 3 U.S. 62 108,800
Erie Exit 3 U.S. 62 Exit 4 I-990 110,500
Erie Exit 4 I-990 Exit 5 NY 263 112,100
Erie Exit 5 NY 263 Exit 6 NY 324 107,800
Erie Exit 6 NY 324 Exit 7 NY 5 118,200
Erie Exit 7 NY 5 I-90 N.Y. Thrwy 125,000
Source: NYSDOT 2002 Traffic Volume Report
The proposed route of Interstate 290 (Power Line Expressway) in 1960.
The connection between the New York Thruway and New York 5 (Main Street) opened prior to construction of Interstate 290.