Map of the northeastern United States with I-87 highlighted in red
|Maintained by NYSTA and NYSDOT|
|Length:||333.49 mi (536.70 km)|
|Existed:||August 14, 1957 – present|
|South end:||I-278 in The Bronx|
| I-95 / US 1 in The Bronx
I-287 in Elmsford / Hillburn
Palisades Parkway in Nanuet
GS Pkwy. in Chestnut Ridge
NY 17 near Harriman
I-84 near Newburgh
NY 28 near Kingston
I-90 / NY Thruway in Albany
US 11 near Champlain
|North end:||A-15 at the Canadian border in Champlain|
Interstate 87 (I-87) is a 333.49-mile (536.70 km) Interstate Highway located entirely within New York State in the United States. The highway begins at the Bronx approaches of the Triborough Bridge in New York City, from where it runs northward through the Hudson Valley, the Capital District, and the easternmost part of the North Country to the Canadian border in the Town of Champlain. At its north end, I-87 continues into Quebec as Autoroute 15 (A-15). I-87 connects with several regionally important roads: I-95 in New York City; New York State Route 17 (NY 17; future I-86) near Harriman; I-84 near Newburgh; and I-90 in Albany. The route is the longest intrastate Interstate Highway in the Interstate Highway System.
I-87 was assigned in 1957 as part of the establishment of the Interstate Highway System. The portion of I-87 south of Albany follows freeways that predate the Interstate Highway designation, namely the Major Deegan Expressway in New York City and the New York State Thruway from the New York City line to Albany. North of Albany, I-87 follows the Adirondack Northway, a highway built in stages from 1957 to 1967. Early proposals for I-87 called for the route to take a more easterly course through the Hudson Valley between New York City and Newburgh. These plans were scrapped in 1970 when I-87 was realigned onto the Thruway between Westchester County and Newburgh.
- 1 Route description
- 2 History
- 3 Future
- 4 Exit list
- 5 Auxiliary routes
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
South of Albany
I-87 begins at the Bronx approach to the Triborough Bridge, where it connects to the Bruckner Expressway (I-278) at a directional T interchange. The freeway heads north from the junction, following the 8.4-mile (13.5 km) Major Deegan Expressway as it runs along the eastern bank of the Harlem River. The route connects to the Cross Bronx Expressway (I-95 and U.S. Route 1 or US 1) before leaving the Harlem River to take a northeasterly course across the northwestern part of the Bronx. I-87 soon enters Van Cortlandt Park, where the highway indirectly connects to the Henry Hudson and Saw Mill River parkways by way of the Mosholu Parkway. The freeway continues across the park to the Westchester County line, where the Major Deegan Expressway becomes the New York State Thruway, a 496-mile (798 km), state-wide toll highway.
Now in Westchester County, I-87 heads north across Yonkers, intersecting the Cross County Parkway before leaving the city for the central part of the county. It stays on a northward track to Elmsford, where it connects to the Saw Mill River Parkway and merges with the Cross-Westchester Expressway. I-287, one of I-87's three spur routes, joins the Thruway here, and I-87 and I-287 proceed west across the Hudson River on the Tappan Zee Bridge to enter Rockland County. The concurrent Interstate Highways travel west across the county's heavily developed southern towns, meeting the Palisades Interstate Parkway and the Garden State Parkway Connector before separating outside of Suffern. I-87 bends northward from here, running along the west edge of Harriman State Park to the Orange County village of Woodbury. Here, the road connects to NY 17 and the toll collection along I-87 transitions from barrier-based to ticket-based.
The change in the toll collection method leads to a distinct change in the exit layout as the frequent exits of various designs in Westchester and Rockland counties give way to trumpet interchanges spaced several miles apart across the mostly rural Hudson Valley. I-87 runs northeast from Woodbury to Newburgh, connecting to I-84 at exit 17 before turning north to cross parts of Orange and Ulster counties. About 30 miles (48 km) north of Newburgh, I-87 meets another spur route, the short I-587, outside of Kingston. Over the next 50 miles (80 km), the Thruway trends slightly eastward, moving closer to the Hudson River as it traverses mostly open parts of Ulster and Greene counties. In Albany County, I-87 intersects the Berkshire Connector at exit 21A, located just west of the riverbank and 10 miles (16 km) south of Albany.
As the Thruway approaches downtown Albany, it begins to swing to the northwest, bypassing the city. While the Thruway runs along Albany's perimeter, direct access to the city is made via I-87's northernmost spur, I-787, which forks from its parent at exit 23. I-87 runs across the capital city's residential suburbs for 6 miles (9.7 km) to exit 24, a complex interchange with I-90. At this point, I-87 leaves the Thruway to access the nearby south end of the toll-free Adirondack Northway, also known simply as the Northway, while I-90 merges in from the east to follow the mainline for the rest of its westward course toward Pennsylvania.
Off the Thruway, I-87 and I-90 overlap for a half-mile along I-90's toll-free path through the Albany area. The brief concurrency ends at exit 1 of the Adirondack Northway in Guilderland, a junction also numbered as exit 1 on I-90. Here, I-87 turns to head north toward the Canadian border at Champlain while I-90 continues east toward downtown Albany and Rensselaer County. South of this point, the Northway feeds into a 0.86-mile (1.38 km) expressway spur known locally as Fuller Road Alternate, which links I-87 and I-90 to US 20. Fuller Road Alternate is designated as NY 910F, an unsigned reference route, by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT). In 2004, NYSDOT ceremonially designated the entire 176-mile (283 km) Northway as the Adirondack Veterans Memorial Highway.
Albany and Saratoga counties
I-87 heads northeast from I-90 as a six-lane freeway with three lanes in each direction. It immediately traverses the Albany Pine Bush Preserve and passes west of Rensselaer Lake before crossing CSX Transportation's Hudson Subdivision and running parallel to Wolf Road, a business thoroughfare through the town of Colonie. Wolf Road itself begins adjacent to exit 2, a cloverleaf interchange with NY 5 (Central Avenue). Heading northbound, the ramp for exit 2E feeds directly into the intersection of NY 5 and Wolf Road, located just west of Colonie Center, one of the Capital District's largest enclosed shopping malls. I-87 continues to run alongside Wolf Road to exit 4, a modified diamond interchange serving County Route 151 (CR 151, named Albany Shaker Road) and Albany International Airport. Wolf Road ends south of the exit; however, another section begins north of the junction, carrying NY 155 away from the airport. I-87 and NY 155 meet at exit 5, with the latter routed along Watervliet Shaker Road.
After a brief stretch of housing tracts, I-87 connects to NY 2 and NY 7 at exit 6, a single-point urban interchange, in a commercialized part of the hamlet of Latham. NY 7 joins I-87 here, following the freeway for roughly 0.8 miles (1.3 km) to exit 7, the west end of a limited-access highway known locally as Alternate Route 7. While NY 7 heads east toward Troy, I-87 continues north past gradually less commercialized areas as it approaches the northern county line. The businesses ultimately give way to stretches of homes and subdivisions as the highway crosses into Saratoga County by way of the Thaddeus Kosciusko Bridge, twin bridges spanning the Mohawk River. The northern portion of the Northway through Colonie and Saratoga County is now a heavily-traveled commuter route. Since the highway's construction, Saratoga County has become the fastest growing area of the Capital District, and indeed all of upstate New York.
For its first few miles in Saratoga County, I-87 runs across lightly developed parts of the towns of Halfmoon and Clifton Park. Near exit 9, however, the freeway passes through the commercial center of Clifton Park as it connects to NY 146. Clifton Park Center, one of several shopping plazas at the junction, is situated southwest of the exit. Past exit 9, the commercial development subsides as I-87 traverses another area dominated by housing tracts. Just north of the exit, the freeway passes a rest area for northbound traffic. The freeway continues on, passing to the west of the centers of Round Lake at exit 11 and Malta at exit 12. After Malta, I-87 turns slightly to the northeast and begins to loosely parallel the northwestern edge of Saratoga Lake as it crosses Kayaderosseras Creek and enters Saratoga Springs.
As the route comes close to downtown Saratoga Springs, it meets NY 9P at exit 14. The junction is adjacent to the regionally popular Saratoga Race Course and thus receives heavy traffic during the racing season. A southbound-only entrance ramp exists off Nelson Avenue Extension about 1 mile (1.6 km) south of exit 14, designed to handle traffic exiting the track at Saratoga Race Course and the Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The highway continues around the eastern edge of Saratoga Springs to exit 15, where the relatively undeveloped areas east of I-87 are briefly replaced by Wilton's commercial district along NY 50. As I-87 continues northeast through Wilton, it heads across significantly less developed areas, with open fields becoming the most common feature along the road. It continues into Moreau, connecting to US 9 and serving Moreau Lake State Park by way of exit 17, a cloverleaf interchange, before crossing the Hudson River and entering Warren County.
Warren and Essex counties
Between the bridge and exit 18, I-87 passes two rest areas, one for each direction. The road's northward course through Queensbury quickly brings it to the outskirts of Glens Falls, and as such the highway heads across another swath of residential neighborhoods. Exits 18 and 19 are the main exits for the city, with the latter connecting to NY 254 near the commercial center of Queensbury. Just east of the exit is Aviation Mall, located on NY 254 just west of the route's junction with US 9. A northwestern turn in the freeway takes I-87 past the Great Escape amusement park and lodge, both of which are accessed from exit 20 and NY 149. Past exit 20, I-87 runs across increasingly remote areas of Queensbury as the road enters Adirondack Park and heads toward Lake George. The freeway closely follows US 9 northwest to the village of Lake George, where I-87 meets NY 9N via exits 21 and 22.
North of Lake George, I-87 narrows from six to four lanes as it runs alongside US 9 to Warrensburg, a small hamlet on the Schroon River served by exit 23. While US 9 heads northwest into the community, I-87 turns northward to follow the east bank of the Schroon River for 17 miles (27 km) through a deep, remote valley. The stretch ends at exit 27, where I-87 reconnects to US 9 at the southern tip of Schroon Lake. At this point, I-87 makes a slight turn to the northeast to follow US 9 as the latter road runs along the western shoreline of Schroon Lake. Both roads pass a handful of lakefront properties on their way into Essex County and the town of Schroon, where the lake comes to an end and NY 74 begins its eastward trek to Ticonderoga at exit 28. The Schroon River resumes north of the exit, and I-87 and US 9 follow the river and its rural valley to the northeast for 15 miles (24 km) to the town of North Hudson.
In North Hudson, the valley becomes less pronounced as the Schroon River reaches its source near exit 30. Here, US 9 and I-87 cross paths again, with the former heading northwest toward Keene and the latter continuing northeast in a narrow valley formed by Ash Craft Brook. After 5 miles (8.0 km), the stream reaches its source at Lincoln Pond, leaving the Northway to climb in elevation and wind its way northeastward across the surrounding mountains. It reaches slightly more level ground in Westport, where I-87 connects to NY 9N at exit 31. From here, the highway takes a generally northerly track across the Bouquet River to the town of Lewis, rejoining US 9 as both roads head toward Clinton County. They split again after 7 miles (11 km) as US 9 veers more easterly than I-87 to serve Keeseville. The Northway, meanwhile, heads to the northwest, bypassing the village to cross the Ausable River and enter Clinton County.
Just across the county line, I-87 intersects NY 9N again at exit 34, the southernmost junction to feature bilingual guide signs in English and French due to the road's proximity to Quebec. Past NY 9N, the Northway curves to the north, running along the west side of Keeseville before entering another rural but fairly level stretch that follows I-87 out of Adirondack Park. Now outside the park, the highway encounters more frequent pockets of development as it follows NY 22 into the town of Plattsburgh. Just inside the town line, the Northway crosses over the Salmon River and intersects NY 22 at exit 36, a junction serving nearby Plattsburgh International Airport. While NY 22 heads northeast into the city of Plattsburgh, I-87 runs north through its western suburbs, passing over the Saranac River and intersecting NY 3 at exit 37. The Northway and NY 22 meet again north of downtown at exit 38.
The section of I-87 between exits 38 and 39 crosses a marshy area surrounding Dead Creek, a stream feeding into nearby Cumberland Bay. Access to the bay shore is provided off to the northeast by exit 39, a modified cloverleaf interchange for NY 314. Continuing away from the junction, I-87 comes within 1 mile (1.6 km) of Lake Champlain as it follows US 9 away from Plattsburgh and northward across open, rolling fields in the towns of Beekmantown and Chazy. Outside of the hamlet of Chazy, the Northway begins to run across a series of wetlands along the west side of US 9. The marshy terrain follows I-87 into the town of Champlain, where I-87 encounters the northernmost community along its course, the village of Champlain. I-87 veers slightly westward to avoid the village, and in doing so it meets US 11 at exit 42, a diamond interchange just west of the village limits.
I-87 takes a northerly track from US 11, crossing the Great Chazy River and briefly entering the village limits, where it runs past a series of homes and businesses built up along nearby US 9. As both roads head north out of the village, US 9 connects to the Northway one last time at exit 43, the last interchange on I-87 before the Canadian border. Past the exit, the highway doubles in width, becoming eight lanes wide as it begins to run past the customs facilities on the American side of the border. The Northway and I-87 end shortly thereafter at the Canadian border, where the highway continues past the Champlain-St. Bernard de Lacolle Border Crossing into Quebec as A-15.
Designation and early construction
I-87 was assigned on August 14, 1957, as part of the establishment of the Interstate Highway System. The highway initially utilized the pre-existing New York State Thruway from Albany to Newburgh and in lower Westchester County, and the Major Deegan Expressway in New York City. From Newburgh to the Elmsford area, I-87 was to follow a new highway running parallel to US 9 northward along the eastern bank of the Hudson River to Fishkill. I-87 would then have followed the proposed I-84 across the Hudson to rejoin the Thruway outside of Newburgh. Meanwhile, all of the Adirondack Northway, the portion of I-87 slated to extend from Albany north to the Canadian border, had yet to be built. Fuller Road Alternate, the spur leading south from the Adirondack Northway to US 20, was originally intended to be part of the Southern Albany Expressway, a proposed highway which would have connected the Northway with I-787 and run parallel to the Thruway between exits 23 and 24.
The Northway was built in segments, which became I-87 as they were completed and linked to the pre-existing route. Construction began in the late 1950s on the portion of the Northway between the Thruway and NY 7 near Latham. This segment was open to traffic by 1960, by which time work had begun on two additional segments from Latham to Malta (at NY 67) and from US 9 in northern Saratoga County to US 9 and NY 149 midway between Glens Falls and Lake George village. The expressway was completed between Latham and Clifton Park (NY 146) and from US 9 south of Glens Falls to the Hudson River c. 1961. The US 9–NY 149 section of the highway was finished on May 26, 1961, at a total cost of $9.5 million (equivalent to $75 million in 2014). Work on the Latham–Malta segment concluded on November 22 on that year with the opening of a $6.6 million piece (equivalent to $52.1 million in 2014) between NY 146 and NY 67. When the Latham–Malta segment was opened, it featured one of the few railroad grade crossings on an Interstate Highway, just south of the Thaddeus Kosciusko Bridge over the Hudson. Construction on the portion of highway between the two segments began c. 1962. The 1.8-mile (2.9 km) part between NY 9P and NY 50 near Saratoga Springs was finished on July 19, 1963, and the entire NY 67–US 9 segment was completed by 1964. An extension linking NY 149 to NY 9N south of Lake George village opened in mid-1963.
By July 1963, the Northway was completed from the Canadian border south to exit 34 at Keeseville. Additionally, the existing Albany–Lake George section was extended slightly by May 1966 to serve the northern part of Lake George. At the time, I-87 curved around the western outskirts of the village to end at NY 9N north of the village on a highway built c. 1964. In mid-1966, the state opened a $23 million section (equivalent to $167 million in 2014) of the Northway between Lake George and exit 26 at Pottersville. I-87 was reconfigured slightly near Lake George as a result: instead of heading east to NY 9N, it continued north on a parallel routing to US 9. The Northway's former routing to NY 9N, known infrequently today as the Lake George Connector, is now NY 912Q, an unsigned reference route 0.66 miles (1.06 km) in length. NY 912Q has one intermediate interchange with US 9. On March 5, 1967, the Lake George–Pottersville portion of I-87 was chosen as America's Most Scenic New Highway of 1966 by Parade Magazine. It became the second New York highway to win the award, as a stretch of NY 17 in Broome and Delaware counties was selected for the title in 1964.
Filling the gaps
The gap in the Northway between Pottersville and Keeseville was narrowed considerably by July 1967 with the completion of a 25-mile (40 km) segment from Pottersville to exit 30 at Underwood. It was closed further on July 25, 1967, with the opening of a 3-mile (4.8 km) stretch near Keeseville between exits 34 and 33. The last section of the Northway to be built, a 30-mile (48 km) stretch between Underwood and Keeseville (exit 33), was finished on August 31, 1967. The completion of the Northway linked New York City with Montreal by way of a direct, limited-access highway, with I-87 becoming A-15 at the Canadian border. The total cost to build the Adirondack Northway was $208 million (equivalent to $1.47 billion in 2014).
Another gap in I-87 existed in downstate New York, as the plan to build I-87 along the proposed Hudson River Expressway had been scrapped by 1962. Instead, I-87 was now proposed to begin in Port Chester and follow a new routing through Purchase, Armonk, and Katonah to Brewster, where it would join I-84. The routing was modified slightly by 1968: I-87 still began in New York City, then overlapped with I-287 east to Purchase. From there, I-87 headed north along the now-open expressway to Armonk, where it ended at NY 22. Another portion of the highway, from Goldens Bridge (NY 138) to Brewster, was open as well while the part from Armonk to Katonah was under construction. This segment, as well as the part from Katonah to Goldens Bridge, was completed by 1971. On January 1, 1970, I-87 was rerouted between Elmsford and Newburgh to follow the mainline of the Thruway instead, leaving the Purchase–Brewster freeway to become I-684.
A long stretch of the Northway through the Adirondack Park had been an unserved zone for cellular telephone service. In 2007, a driver who crashed off the road was unable to summon help, prompting messages from local governments to telephone companies to add new wireless towers to address the problem and warning signs to inform travelers of the so-called "dark zone". Throughout this area, roadside emergency call boxes are located approximately every two miles on both sides of the roadway. These boxes use a two-way UHF radio network to connect directly to New York State Police dispatchers. The first of 13 new cellular phone towers along I-87 was installed in October 2008. A second cellular phone tower was completed just one month later.
Exit 6 on the Adirondack Northway was originally a diamond interchange. Construction to convert the junction into a single-point urban interchange began in mid-2008 and was completed on September 12, 2010. The total cost of the project was $41.9 million.
There is no exit 3 on I-87, as this number was reserved for an interchange with the cancelled I-687. A project is in the early stages of design to improve access to the Albany International Airport, either by constructing a new exit 3, or by reconfiguring exit 4 to relieve congestion at the junction. As of January 2010, the project is expected to be completed in late 2015.
The road has three current spur routes, all located along the Thruway portion of I-87. I-287 serves as a 99-mile (159 km) bypass around New York City, beginning at the New Jersey Turnpike in Middlesex County, New Jersey, and ending at I-95 (the New England Thruway) near the Connecticut border in Rye. I-287 and I-87 overlap for 19 miles (31 km) across Westchester and Rockland counties. East of the concurrency, I-287 is known as the Cross-Westchester Expressway. The other two spurs, the 2-mile (3.2 km) I-587 and the 10-mile (16 km) I-787, link I-87 to the cities of Kingston and Albany, respectively.
Two other spurs of I-87 were planned but never constructed. In the Hudson Valley, I-487 would have run along the Hudson River from I-87 and I-287 in Tarrytown to I-84 east of Beacon. The other spur, I-687, would have connected I-90 in Albany to I-87 near Albany International Airport in Colonie. Both routes were cancelled in the 1970s as a result of public opposition.
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|Albany||City of Albany||0.0||0.0||1||Interstate 90||Not as Interstate 87 on Northbound exit|
|Town of Colonie||1.39||2.24||2||NY 5 (Central Avenue) – Albany, Schenectady||Signed as 2E (east) and 2W (west) Village of Colonie|
|3.30||5.31||4||NY 155 west (Albany Shaker Road)||Serves Albany International Airport|
|4.27||6.87||5||NY 155 east (Watervliet–Shaker Road)|
|5.53||8.90||6||NY 7 west / NY 2 (Troy–Schenectady Road) – Schenectady, Watervliet||NY 7 joins northbound and leaves southbound|
|6.12||9.85||7||NY 7 east – Troy, Cohoes||NY 7 leaves northbound and joins southbound|
|10.33||16.62||8||Crescent Road (CR 92) / Vischers Ferry Road|
|Clifton Park||11.76||18.93||8A||Grooms Road (CR 91)|
|13.30||21.40||9||NY 146 – Clifton Park, Mechanicville, Halfmoon||Signed as 9W (west) and 9E (east) southbound|
|16.22||26.10||10||Ushers Road — Jonesville, Ballston Lake|
|18.79||30.24||11||Curry Avenue / Round Lake Road (CR 80)|
|Malta||21.05||33.88||12||NY 67 (Dunning Street) – Ballston Spa, Malta||Roundabouts at tops of ramps replaced signals in 2006|
|24.81||39.93||13||US 9 – Saratoga Springs, Ballston Spa, Malta, Saratoga Lake||Signed as 13N (north) and 13S (south)|
|Saratoga Springs||28.86||46.45||14||NY 9P (Union Avenue) – Saratoga Springs, Schuylerville||Parclo hybrid; serves Saratoga Race Course|
|30.67||49.36||15||NY 50 – Saratoga Springs, Gansevoort|
|Wilton||36.15||58.18||16||Ballard Road (CR 33) – Wilton|
|Moreau||40.94||65.89||17||US 9 – South Glens Falls, Moreau Lake State Park||Signed as 17N (north) and 17S (south)|
|Warren||Queensbury||45.49||73.21||18||Glens Falls, Corinth|
|47.83||76.97||19||NY 254 (Aviation Road) – Glens Falls, Queensbury|
|50.11||80.64||20||NY 149 – Fort Ann, Whitehall|
|Southern extent of Adirondack Park|
|Town of Lake George||53.31||85.79||21||NY 9N – Lake Luzerne, Lake George|
|55.35||89.08||22||To US 9 to NY 9N – Lake Luzerne, Lake George|
|59.79||96.22||23||Diamond Point Road (CR 35)|
|Town of Warrensburg||68.21||109.77||24||Riverbank Road (CR 11)|
|Chester||73.58||118.42||25||NY 8 – Chestertown, Hague, Brant Lake|
|78.12||125.72||26||US 9 – Pottersville, Minerva|
|Essex||Schroon||82.36||132.55||27||US 9 – Schroon Lake|
|89.07||143.34||28||NY 74 – Ticonderoga, Crown Point|
|North Hudson||95.01||152.90||29||Blue Ridge Road|
|104.85||168.74||30||US 9 to NY 73 – Lake Placid, Keene|
|Westport||117.99||189.89||31||NY 9N – Elizabethtown, Westport|
|Lewis||123.75||199.16||32||Stowersville Road — Lewis, Willsboro|
|Chesterfield||135.43||217.95||33||US 9 / NY 22 – Keeseville, Willsboro|
|Clinton||Au Sable||139.22||224.05||34||NY 9N – Keeseville, Au Sable Forks|
|Northern extent of Adirondack Park|
|Peru||144.97||233.31||35||NY 442 (Bear Swamp Road) – Peru, Valcour, Port Kent|
|Town of Plattsburgh||150.58||242.34||36||NY 22 – Plattsburgh International Airport|
|153.51||247.05||37||NY 3 (Cornelia Street) – Plattsburgh, Saranac Lake|
|155.31||249.95||38||NY 22 / NY 374 – Plattsburgh, Dannemora, Tupper Lake||Signed as 38S (south) and 38N (north)|
|156.87||252.46||39||NY 314 / Moffitt Road – Cumberland Head, Plattsburgh Bay||Signed as 39N (north) and 39E (east) southbound|
|Beekmantown||160.64||258.53||40||NY 456 – Beekmantown, Point au Roche|
|Chazy||168.26||270.79||41||NY 191 – Sciota, Chazy|
|Town of Champlain||174.75||281.23||42||US 11 – Mooers, Rouses Point|
|176.02||283.28||43||US 9 – Champlain|
|176.70||284.37||A-15||Canadian border at Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Interstate 87.|
- Interstate 87 at Alps' Roads • New York Routes • Upstate New York Roads
- Aerial photos of both ends of I-87
- Covering I-87, the Adirondack Northway from Albany to Quebec through the Adirondacks
- I-87 (Greater New York Roads)