Traveling 76 miles overall, Interstate 390 follows the Genesee Expressway north from the Southern Tier Region of Upstate New York to Rochester’s Outer Loop in the town of Brighton. The scenic freeway winds northwest from Avoca to Dansville, Geneseo and Avon through agricultural land and hilly terrain. North from the Finger Lakes area, I-390 continues to suburban areas of Monroe County, carrying commuters north from West Henrietta to the city of Rochester.
The Genesee Expressway ends at the Outer Loop, having been canceled north from there to Downtown Rochester. Interstate 390 follows the southwestern arc of the Outer Loop to Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC) and I-490 (Western Expressway) in the town of Gates. Interstate 590 lines the southeast quadrant of the Inner Loop, encircling Brighton northeast to I-490 in east Rochester.
The Outer Loop extends north of I-490 on both sides of the city as New York 390 and 590 respectively. New York 390 travels 7.90 miles from I-390 and 490 to Lake Ontario State Parkway as a full freeway.
The Rochester Outer Loop posted as New York 47 in 1968.
The Rochester Outer Loop was originally designated New York 47. The freeway opened to traffic from the west and east, with the last section joining the two where the Genesee Expressway ties in from the south. The oldest section of I-390 south of Rochester was the Dansville-Wayland Expressway. Built in the late 1960s,1 the short freeway linking NY 21 and NY 36 was numbered as NY 401, then NY 245.2
As construction progressed along both the Genesee Expressway and Outer Loop, the separate segments of state route freeway were incorporated into the Interstate system. Interstate 590 replaced New York 47 in Monroe County and New York 245 became part of Interstate 390 in Livingston County. The remainder of I-390 would see completion slowly over the course of 20 years. Some NYSDOT reference markers around Dansville still referenced NY 245 as of January 2017.
Within Rochester, initial plans for Interstate 390 took the freeway north from the Rochester Outer Loop (I-590) directly to the Rochester Inner Loop (I-490). The proposed alignment of I-390 followed the Genesee River northward from a portion of the University of Rochester campus to neighborhood areas south of central business district. While ramps to the Genesee Expressway were added from the Inner Loop at Downtown, growing community opposition halted additional construction.3
Ultimately the Genesee Expressway project was dropped, with I-390 rerouted over the southwest leg of the Outer Loop in place of I-590. AASHTO approved the renumbering of Interstate 590 west from the Genesee Expressway on June 25, 1979. The action included designating the Outer Loop north to Lake Ontario State Parkway as part of Interstate 390. Despite that, the freeway north of I-490 remained signed as New York 390.