Designated as Interstate 590, the freeway spur into Utica was part of the proposed urban Interstate numerology submitted to the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) by the New York State Department of Public Works on August 22, 1958. AASHO approved the numbering on November 11, 1958, along with the recommendations of changing the proposed I-190 in Buffalo to I-290, I-290 in Rochester to I-490, I-490 in Syracuse to I-690 and I-690 in Schenectady to I-890. However based upon that sequence in a letter sent to AASHO on December 4, 1958, New York requested that I-590 in Utica be renumbered to I-790
to keep the numerical order of loops and spurs in correct sequence
AASHO approved the proposed change on February 5, 1959. Coincidentally I-390 and I-590 were later assigned to routes in Rochester, keeping the numerical sequence from west to east intact. The establishment of Interstate 990 in 1980 resulted in an exception.
The Utica North-South Arterial was built in the 1960s to improve traffic flow through the city. The arterial between Court and Oswego Streets was constructed as an at-grade roadway with intersections due to community concerns with the elevated highway. The viaduct was rehabilitated in 1991.1