Interstate 390 New York
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 Outer 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 NY 390 and NY 590 respectively. New York Route 390 travels 7.90 miles from I-390 and I-490 to Lake Ontario State Parkway as a limited access highway.
The Rochester Outer Loop was originally designated New York Route 47. The freeway opened to traffic from the west and east, with the last section south of I-490 joining the two sections where the Genesee Expressway ties in from the south. The oldest segment 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 NY 47 in Monroe County and NY 245 became part of I-390 in Livingston County. The remainder of I-390 was completed slowly over the course of 20 years, with the last section opened between NY 15 at Avoca and I-590 in 1981. Some New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) reference markers around Dansville still referenced NY 245 as of January 2017.
Source: December 31, 2021 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
I-390 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)
Source: 2015 NYSDOT Traffic Data Viewer
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. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) approved the renumbering of Interstate 590 west from the Genesee Expressway to I-490 as I-390 on June 25, 1979. The Outer Loop between NY 383 and Winton Road was finished in December 1980, followed by completion of the route from NY 104 to Lake Ontario State Parkway in 1984. The action included designating the previously unnumbered Outer Loop north to Lake Ontario State Parkway as part of Interstate 390. Despite that, the freeway north of I-490 was instead signed as New York Route 390.
Started in 2016, the I-390/I-490 Interchange Improvement Project made a number of improvements at the exchange joining I-490 with I-390/NY 390 at the town of Gates. Completed in Summer 2018, work on Phase One replaced the NY 31 (Lyell Avenue) bridge over NY 390 with a wider span. Phase Two work through late 2019 rehabilitated bridges along NY 390 over Erie Canal, realigned the entrance ramp from NY 31 onto NY 390 northbound, and added lane capacity. Phase Three constructed a new roadway for NY 390/I-390 southbound through the exchange with I-490. Opened to traffic on September 17, 2021, the flyover eliminated left exit ramps by repurposing the former roadway for NY 390/I-390 south into a collector distributor roadway. Completed by the end of 2021, Phase Four construction widened NY 31 (Lyell Avenue) between NY 390 and Howard Road.4 The $172.8 million project garnered recognition by the American Public Works Association for Transportation Projects Greater on March 25, 2022.5
North End – Gates, New York
North End Throwback
The Rochester Outer Loop continues the sequential exit number system for I-390 along NY 390. Exit 21 joins the freeway with NY 31 (Lyell Avenue) to the immediate north of Exit 20 for I-490. Lyell Avenue constitutes a commercial arterial east into the Lyell-Otis-Avery neighborhood of Rochester. 05/10/05
With the exception of a left exit tab for Interstate 390 south, overheads on I-490 west at the Outer Loop were carbon copied by 2012.
South End – Kanona, New York
- Dansville History – Dansville Public Library.
- Interstate 390, New York Routes web site.
- The Genesee Expressway
http://home.rochester.rr.com/ kreativ/brian/genesee.htm, Brian Campbell.
- “Major Milestone in the I-390/I-490/Route 31 Interchange Improvement Project Will Ease Travel and Enhance Safety.” New York Governor’s Press Office, September 16, 2021.
- “NYSDOT’s Interstate 390/Interstate 490/Lyell Avenue Interchange Reconfiguration Project Recognized by the American Public Works Association.” New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), press release. March 25, 2022.
Page updated June 13, 2022.