Interstate 687

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Interstate 687 marker

Interstate 687
Route information
Length: 4.6 mi[3] (7.4 km)
History: Proposed in 1950s;[1] cancelled in 1973[2]
Major junctions
South end: I-90 in Albany
North end: I-87 in Colonie
Location
Counties: Albany
Highway system
I-684 I-690

Interstate 687 (I-687) was a proposed auxiliary Interstate Highway in the Capital District region of New York in the United States. The highway would have connected I-90 in Albany to I-87 near Albany International Airport in Colonie. I-687 faced opposition from those living in the path of the highway, and ultimately all that was built of the highway was its interchange with I-90 in Albany, which now connects to a surface road, Corporate Woods Boulevard. The project was cancelled in 1973, and I-687 was removed from the Interstate Highway System four years later.

Route description[edit]

I-687 was to begin at exit 5A of I-90 near the northern city line of Albany.[1] The Interstate Highway, named the Northside–Northway Connection, would have proceeded generally northwestward through the town of Colonie, passing through a series of residential neighborhoods located to the west of Loudonville and to the northeast of Roessleville. Present-day Sand Creek Road approximates the proposed route. It would have had interchanges with Everett Road, Osborne Road, the proposed northward extension of the Crosstown Arterial (New York State Route 85 or NY 85), and Wolf Road[4] before ending at exit 3 of the Adirondack Northway (I-87) south of Albany International Airport.[1] The highway would have been 4.6 miles (7.4 km) long.[3]

History[edit]

The initial plans for the Capital District's portion of the Interstate Highway System were drawn up in the late 1950s. One of the highways proposed at this time was I-687, also known as the "Northway Connection". When the Adirondack Northway (I-87) was completed through Colonie in 1960, a gap was left in the Northway's exit numbering system for an interchange with I-687. The exits with NY 5 (Central Avenue) and Albany Shaker Road were designated as exits 2 and 4, respectively, leaving exit 3 for I-687. No such gap was left on the toll-free section of I-90, where the I-687 exit was numbered exit 5A.[1]

The construction of I-687 would have forced hundreds of households from their homes, which are located off of Albany Shaker Road.[citation needed] By way of comparison, today's Crossing Park in Colonie would have been directly in the path of the highway.[citation needed] As such, the project faced opposition from residents of the town of Colonie.[4] The construction of the road was started despite the controversy surrounding it, and the interchange with I-90 was completed c. 1972.[5] Construction was halted soon afterward, however, as state and federal funds were diverted away from the project.[1] I-687 and the proposed northward extension of the Crosstown Arterial (NY 85) were both cancelled by the state of New York in late September 1973, at which time the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) requested that I-687 be removed from the Interstate Highway System.[2] The request was granted in 1977.[1]

I-90 exit 5A, the only part of the project that was ever constructed, was left as an interchange to nowhere for roughly a decade.[6] In the early 1980s, the large, freeway-standard trumpet interchange was linked up with Corporate Woods Boulevard, a local, two-lane street leading to an office park located just north of I-90 on Albany Shaker Road.[7][8] Meanwhile, there is still no exit 3 on I-87 to this day. The New York State Department of Transportation is now in the planning stages of constructing an exit 3 that would help relieve traffic congestion at exit 4. Exit 3 will be routed either to Albany International Airport or exit 4 will be completely relocated to meet with the airport. If exit 4 is relocated, exit 3 will become an access exit to Wolf Road at Metro Drive and the airport.[1]

Exit list[edit]

The entire route would have been in Albany County. As proposed, the highway would have had four intermediate exits.[4]

Location Destinations Notes
Albany I-90 Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Town of Colonie Everett Road
Osborne Road
NY 85 Proposed extension of Crosstown Arterial; southbound exit and northbound entrance
Wolf Road
I-87 Northbound exit and southbound entrance

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "History". Adirondack Northway Exit 3 Project. New York State Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 11, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "State Bids U.S. Delete Interstate 687 Approval". Schenectady Gazette. October 15, 1973. p. 26. Retrieved August 27, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Faber, Harold (September 30, 1973). "85% of Interstate Roads in State Complete at a Cost of $2.5-Billion". The New York Times. p. 26. 
  4. ^ a b c Jordan, Christopher (2006). "Interstate 687". Capital Highways. Retrieved June 11, 2010. 
  5. ^ "NY State Highway Bridge Data – Albany County" (PDF). New York State Department of Transportation. May 31, 2010. p. 2. Retrieved June 11, 2010. 
  6. ^ Albany Quadrangle – New York (Map). 1:24,000. 7.5 Minute Series (Topographic). United States Geological Survey. 1980. Retrieved June 11, 2010. 
  7. ^ I Love New York Tourism Map (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally and Company. State of New York. 1981. 
  8. ^ New York (Map). Rand McNally and Company. 1985. ISBN 0-528-91040-X.