State DOT Converts Central NY Highways to Mile-Based Exit Numbers

New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez announced today that work has begun on a project to implement a mile-based numbering system for exits along Interstate 81, Interstate 690, and State Route 481 in Cortland, Oswego, and Onondaga Counties.

According to Urban CNY, while not practicable for all highways, mile-based systems are in use in nearly all U.S. states and are widely viewed as more efficient than sequential numbering schemes. Aside from assisting motorists in determining their location and the distance to their preferred exit, mile-based systems also aid emergency responders in reaching drivers who are experiencing an emergency. The new system will ensure that Central New York conforms to current national standards.

The new exit numbers along I-81 are based on the distance in miles moving from south to north from the Pennsylvania border to the Canadian border; the redesigned exit numbers along I-690 are also based on the distance in miles, moving from west to east beginning at the New York State Thruway. Updated exit numbers for State Route 481 are based on the distance in miles moving south to north, starting at I-481 (future I-81).

The mile-based sign project is being undertaken in coordination with the transformative I-81 Viaduct Project that is redesignating I-481 to I-81. In compliance with the changeover, exit numbers along I-481 must be converted to align with exit numbers on I-81. Implementing a mile-based system allows for a more efficient and safe transition. Converting to the new mile-based system allows thousands of commuters, commercial vehicles, and residents to make safer choices when traveling along the highway.   

Work on the exit sign conversion is anticipated to be finished by the end of 2024, with the exception of exit signs associated with the I-81 Viaduct Project. Exit signs along I-81, I-690, and State Route 481 within the footprint of the I-81 Viaduct Project will be converted to the mile-based system in accordance with the completion of the project.

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