New York DOT making change to exit numbers

June 18, 2024

Land Line Staff


The New York State Department of Transportation is shifting to a mile-based numbering scheme for exits on Interstates 81 and 690 as well as state Highway 481 in Cortland, Oswego and Onondaga counties.

The current sequentially numbered exit signs will be updated with panels indicating the exit by its mileage location on that particular highway.

State transportation officials say this will improve traffic management and emergency response while providing drivers with a better indication of the distance to a specific location.

“The safety and convenience of the traveling public are always top priorities for the New York State Department of Transportation, and these new exit numbers will allow drivers to make safer and better-informed travel decisions as they journey along some of central New York’s busiest highways,” NYSDOT Commissioner Marie Theresa Dominguez said in a news release. “With mile-based exit signs, drivers will be able to easily determine where they are and how far they need to go to reach their destinations, enabling more efficient travel planning and enhanced safety for all who use our highways.”

Central New York is the first region in the upstate New York to make the conversion to mile-based exits on I-81.

This plan calls for updating all I-81 exit signs between the state’s borders with Pennsylvania and Canada.

New exit numbers on I-81 will be based on distance in miles moving from south to north from the Pennsylvania border to the Canadian border. I-690 will be updated with exit numbers based on distance from west to east beginning at the New York State Thruway. State Highway 481 exit numbers will be based on the distance in miles moving south to north starting at Interstate 481.

The exit sign conversion work is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2024. Exit signs on I-81, I-690 and state Highway 481 within the I-81 Viaduct Project area will be updated at the completion of that project.

The new exit number will be added to the upper panel of the existing sign, and the old sequential number will be added to the bottom of the “first approaching existing exit sign,” NYSDOT said. It added that this will be done to reduce driver confusion.

Details about the project can be found on the NYSDOT website. LL

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