Interstate 684 is a fairly long north-south, three-digit Interstate route that connects Interstate 84 with the New York City metropolitan area. The freeway straddles the border between New York and Connecticut along the New York 22 corridor in Westchester and Putnam Counties. Signed as part of Interstate 87 for a brief time during the 1960s, Interstate 684 spends most of its time in New York, but it enters Connecticut near Greenwich for about a mile without any exits in that state.
The Interstate 684 designation was to be the third even spur route from Interstate 84 in Connecticut. The number was chosen because Connecticut planned two other child spur routes (Interstate 284 and Interstate 484) in the Hartford metropolitan area. Due to the small segment that enters the Constitution state, numbering conventions delineated that only Interstate 684 or Interstate 884 would be available. Neither Interstate 284 nor Interstate 484 were built, but the Interstate 684 designation stuck. (Eventually, Interstate 384 was created once it was determined that Interstate 84 would travel northeast to Interstate 90 rather than heading east to Providence.)
Interstate 684 was also signed briefly as Interstate 87 back when Interstate 684, along with Interstate 84 overlap, were considered the official route for Interstate 87 north out of New York City. By the mid-1960s, Interstate 87 was transferred to the New York Thruway for the entire route from New York City north to Albany, and today this seems to be the more obvious route.
Michael Summa adds some historical observations: "For some strange reason, what is now I-684 was first signed as I-87. When you look at a map of this region you can only ask "What were they thinking?". By 1970 the number was changed to the present 684 designation. I don't know if you were ever aware of this fact. And speaking of this route, I remember seeing I-684 with Connecticut in it on your needs list...I worked for the Connecticut Highway Department briefly back then and I was told we were only responsible for guardrail maintenance on the short section that cut through a corner of Connecticut. When I drove that section shortly after it's completion, there was no indication whatsoever, signwise, or pavement change, that the motorist had entered Connecticut, then re-entered New York. This was back in 1970. I have no idea what that situation is today."
The situation as observed during a field visit in July 2000 is that a small sign indicating the Connecticut state line is posted in each direction of Interstate 684. The section of Interstate 684 in Connecticut looks no different from the section in New York. Connecticut's Interstate 684 is so short and nondescript, one would otherwise pass it by without noticing it.
Southern Terminus - Interstate 287 - Purchase, New York
Perspective from Interstate 684 south
The final reassurance shield for Interstate 684 south is posted after Exit 2, New York 120 near Westchester County Airport. Photo taken 08/29/05.
This is the first advance sign for the junction with Interstate 287/Cross Westchester Expressway (two miles). Photo taken 08/29/05.
To New York City, use Interstate 287 east to Interstate 95 south (or use the Hutchinson River Parkway). Photo taken 08/29/05.
The southern terminus of Interstate 684 splits into two branches. The eastern branch becomes the Hutchinson River Parkway, en route to Mount Vernon and the Bronx, New York. The western branch leads to Interstate 287, the Cross-Westchester Expressway. This photograph shows guide signage one mile ahead of the split. Photo taken 08/29/05.
The Interstate 684 end shield is posted just before the split between the Hutchinson River Parkway southbound begin and the access freeway to Interstate 287. The sign in previous years was shrouded by vegetation. Photo taken 08/29/05.
The last official exit of Interstate 684 is the eastern branch for the southbound beginning of the Hutchinson River Parkway. All commercial trucks must continue to Interstate 287, as they are banned on all New York City area parkways. An unusual arrow configuration shows that two lanes are allocated for Interstate 287. The independent east and west guide signs for Interstate 287 are now combined (as compared to the original button copy signs that used to be here), probably in an effort to show that regardless of which direction motorists desire, the eastern branch is the way to go. The ramp in the background is the Interstate 287 eastbound ramp to Interstate 684 north. The Hutchinson River Parkway guide sign (Exit 1) includes the Whitestone Bridge as a control point. The parkway transitions into Interstate 678 at the south end in the Bronx, New York. Photos taken 08/29/05 and by Douglas Kerr (06/00).
Continuing on the western branch from Interstate 684 south is the ramp split for Interstate 287 east and west. The Cross-Westchester Expressway plays a vital role in the regional movements of traffic around New York City, as the Tappan Zee Bridge, in conjunction with Interstate 287 in North Jersey, provided a long distance bypass of the city itself. Photos taken 08/29/05 and by Douglas Kerr (06/02/02).
Perspective from Hutchinson River Parkway north
Traveling north on the Hutchinson River Parkway, the first advance signage for Interstate 287 appears shortly after a service plaza and Exit 25 (New York 127/North Street). Interstate 684 also begins at this interchange, but it is not signed here. Photo taken 06/13/05.
Use Exit 26E, Interstate 287/Cross-Westchester Expressway east to Port Chester and Exit 26W, Interstate 287/Cross-Westchester Expressway west to the New York Thruway and Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River. Photo taken 06/13/05.
The Hutchinson River Parkway sees its last mainline interchange at Interstate 287 (Exits 26E/W). This photograph shows guide signage for the eastern Interstate 287 off-ramp and gives advance notice of the pending northbound beginning of Interstate 684 (exit left). Photo taken 06/13/05.
The next sign bridge on the parkway northbound is at Exit 26E itself for Interstate 287 east. The Cross-Westchester Expressway travels three miles to its conclusion at Interstate 95 near Port Chester and the Connecticut state line. Photo taken 06/13/05.
Exit 26W departs for Interstate 287/Cross-Westchester Expressway west for White Plains. Interstate 287 meets its parent in nine miles, with both traversing the Hudson River on the Tappan Zee Bridge. Meanwhile the Hutchinson River Parkway widens to four northbound lanes in anticipation of the split with Interstate 684 north. Photo taken 06/13/05.
The split of Interstate 684 north from the Hutchinson River Parkway. As guide signage suggests, the parkway transitions to the Merritt Parkway upon entering the Constitution State. This former toll road parallels Interstate 95 between the state line to Bridgeport. Photo taken 06/13/05.
Perspective from Interstate 684 north
Shortly after separating from the Hutchinson River Parkway, the first exit on northbound Interstate 684 is Manhattanville Road. Photo taken 06/26/05.
The first reassurance shield on Interstate 684 north features the state name of New York and also an Eisenhower Interstate System marker. Photos taken 06/13/05 and 06/26/05.
The first mileage sign on northbound Interstate 684 provides the distance to Armonk (six miles) and Brewster (29 miles). Interstate 684 ends in Brewster at its junction with Interstate 84. Photo taken 06/13/05.
After Exit 2 (New York 120), Interstate 684 briefly leaves New York and enters Connecticut. The only signage for crossing state lines is this sign, which displays Entering Greenwich Connecticut with the word Connecticut in cursive font. Photo taken 06/13/05.
Perspective from Interstate 287 west
This sign is found on the collector distributor roadway for westbound Interstate 287/Cross-Westchester Expressway to the Hutchinson River Parkway. The parkway connects to the eastern branch of Interstate 684, thus warranting this guide sign for the northbound Parkway ramp. Photo taken by Douglas Kerr (06/09/02).
Westbound Interstate 287/Cross-Westchester Expressway approaches Exit 9A, Interstate 684 north near Milepost 7. Photo taken 08/29/05.
Approaching Interstate 684 north, this guide sign is posted at the split from westbound Interstate 287/Cross-Westchester Expressway at Exit 9A. The interchange between the Cross-Westchester Expressway and the western branch of Interstate 684 is a tri-level stack. The control point of Brewster is a town near the northern terminus with Interstate 84. Photo taken 08/29/05.
This is the view of the transition from Interstate 287/Cross-Westchester Expressway to Interstate 684 north. Photo taken 08/29/05.
Perspective from Interstate 287 east
Original button copy sign on the Cross-Westchester Expressway eastbound at Exit 9A/Interstate 684 north and Westchester Avenue. This ramp connects to the western branch of Interstate 684. The first northbound exit of the Interstate leads to New York 120. Photo taken 08/09/04.
Eastbound Interstate 287/Cross-Westchester Expressway reaches Exit 9A, Interstate 684 north to Brewster and Westchester Avenue. This ramp connects to the western branch of Interstate 684. Photo taken 08/09/04.
Now on the transition ramp from Interstate 287 east to Interstate 684 north, the left lane connects to Interstate 684, while the right lane connects to Westchester Avenue. All of these are button copy signs. Photo taken 08/09/04.
Northern Terminus - Interstate 84 - Brewster, New York
Perspective from Interstate 684 north
The only rest area on northbound Interstate 684 is located just before the interchange with Interstate 84. This auxiliary sign advises of the distance to the next rest area via either Interstate 84 east (7 miles at the Connecticut Welcome Center) or Interstate 84 west (16 miles between Exits 17 and 16). Photo taken 06/13/05.
Northbound Interstate 684 reaches the Rest Area in Putnam County. Photo taken 06/13/05.
Shortly thereafter is the two-mile advance guide sign for Interstate 84 east to Connecticut (Danbury and Hartford) and west to several cities in New York (Newburgh, Middletown, and Port Jervis) and Scranton, Pennsylvania. This section of Interstate 84 is maintained by the New York State Thruway, but motorists on Interstate 84 are not assessed a toll to use the freeway. Photo taken 06/13/05.
At Milepost 27 is this one-mile advance sign for the junction with Interstate 84 on northbound Interstate 684. Photo taken 06/13/05.
A button copy sign provides the lane allocation as Interstate 684 north nears its junction with Interstate 84. The right lane becomes exit only for Interstate 84 east to Danbury and Hartford, while the left two lanes offer the connection to Interstate 84 west to Interstate 87/New York Thruway, U.S. 6-202 and New York 22 south (Exit 10), and New York 22 north. Photo taken 06/13/05.
The right lane is exit only for Interstate 84 east to Danbury (Exit 9E), and the next exit is for Interstate 84 west to Newburgh (Exit 9W). Photo taken 06/13/05.
Interstate 684 comes to an end at Interstate 84/Exits 9E/W near the town of Brewster. Motorists may also continue northward onto New York 22, as it travels to the towns of Patterson, Pawling, and Wassaic. Note the use of Series C Highway Gothic font for Interstate 84 in the middle sign and series D FHWA Highway Gothic font in the right sign. Photo taken 06/13/05.
Northbound Interstate 684 meets Interstate 84 west to Newburgh (Exit 9W). The next exit is Exit 10, U.S. 6-202 to New York 22 south, followed quickly with the junction with New York 22 north. Photo taken 06/13/05.
The next exit is Exit 10, U.S. 6-202 east/west and New York 22 south. An end Interstate 684 is positioned after Exit 10; the freeway transitions directly onto New York 22 north. Photo taken 06/26/05.
An end Interstate 684 shield is posted after the gore point for Exit 10, U.S. 6-202 at Milepost 28.7. New York 22 continues north from here. Photo taken 06/26/05.
Perspective from New York 22 south
Junction signage on New York 22 southbound for the pending northern terminus of Interstate 684, Interstate 84, and nearby U.S. 6 and 202. Photos taken by Douglas Kerr (11/27/02) and on 06/26/05.
Shortly thereafter is this roadside sign for the continuation of New York 22 south and the junction with U.S. 6-202 afforded by the next ramp. Photo taken 06/26/05.
Interstate 684 begins as Exit 10 for U.S. 6/202 and New York 22 to the towns of Brewster, Mahopac, and Croton Falls departs to the right. The ramps for Interstate 84 are forthcoming. Photo taken 06/26/05.
Perspective from Interstate 684 south
After traffic departs onto New York 22 south and U.S. 6-202, this is the first reassurance shield for southbound Interstate 684. Photo taken 06/26/05.
The first exit from Interstate 684 south is Exit 9W, Interstate 84 west to Newburgh. Photo taken 06/26/05.
Continuing south, southbound Interstate 684 meets Interstate 84 west at Exit 9W. The Hudson River toll bridge near Newburgh is 26 miles to the west via Interstate 84; the junction with Interstate 87/New York Thruway is a few miles west of the river crossing. Photo taken 06/26/05.
Southbound Interstate 684 reaches Exit 9E, Interstate 84 east to Danbury. There are no New York state exits between Interstate 684 and the Connecticut state line on eastbound Interstate 84. The city of Danbury, situated where Interstate 84 meets U.S. 7, is eight miles to the east. Photo taken 06/26/05.
Perspective from Interstate 84 west
Original button copy sign for the upcoming Interstate 684 interchange on Interstate 84 west. Featured here and now omitted, are shields for the nearby U.S. 6 and 202. Photo taken by Michael Summa (1970).
One mile sign bridge for Exit 20S/Interstate 684 south on Interstate 84 westbound. This photo is taken not long after the completion of Interstate 84 through this stretch. Also featured on this assembly is a text only guide sign for Exit 20N. New York State used to spell out U.S. and State highways with just text in place of placing a route shield. Photo taken by Michael Summa (1970).
One-half mile directional sign for Exit 20/Interstate 684 on Interstate 84 westbound. Interstate 684 plays a key role in traffic movements from southern New England to New York City. Photo taken by Douglas Kerr (06/02/02).
Interstate 84 westbound at the beginning of the ramp for Interstate 684 south/Exit 20. The Big Apple is just under a 30 mile drive via Interstate 684 and the Hutchinson River Parkway. Photo taken by Douglas Kerr (06/02/02).
The scene above as it looked not long after the completion of Interstate 84. Note the lack of trees and other vegetation as compared to what the same scene looks like today. Also note that the button copy sign bridge that is displayed here was removed and replaced with the assembly Pictured above. Photo taken by Michael Summa (1970).
Along the ramp for Interstate 684 southbound is an access ramp to the nearby New York 22. New York 22 begins at the same location where Interstate 684 ends. Photo taken by Douglas Kerr (06/02/02).
Perspective from Interstate 84 east
Interstate 684, U.S. 6/202, and New York 22 nondescript guide sign on Interstate 84 eastbound, two miles out of Exits 20S/N. The US highways pair together between Brewster and the city of Danbury, Connecticut. Photo taken 06/13/05.
Within one mile of the northern terminus of Interstate 684/Exit 20S. Exit 20N takes traffic to New York 22 northbound (essentially the continuation of the Interstate 684 roadway) to U.S. 6/202. Photo taken 06/13/05.
Use Interstate 684 south to New York City (Exit 22S). Exit numbers of Interstate 684 continue on the short New York 22 freeway to include the U.S. 6/202 interchange. As for New York 22, the state highway straddles the eastern border of the Empire State all the way to the Canadian border near the village of Mooers. Photo taken 06/13/05.
Prior to reaching the interchange with Interstate 684, Interstate 84 east crosses over the East Branch of the Croton River on this steel deck girder bridge. Photo taken 06/13/05.
After the East Branch Croton River bridge, this roadside sign advises of the pending ramp to Exit 20S, Interstate 684 south to New York City. Photo taken 06/13/05.
Southbound beginning of Interstate 684 as it departs from Interstate 84 eastbound at Exit 20S. The Interstate 84 freeway and Cross-Westchester Expressway routing of Interstate 287 are now maintained by the New York Thruway authority. The transition of highway maintenance occurred in 1993. Photo taken 06/13/05.
Eastbound Interstate 84 reaches Exit 22N, To U.S. 6-202 and New York 22. Note that this is not signed for Interstate 684 north, even though the ramp simply connects to the remaining lanes of northbound Interstate 684 for the final distance to New York 22. Photo taken 06/13/05.