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Orientation: I-90, the New York State Thruway, runs across the bottom edge of the photo. I-490 enters from top and intersects the Thruway at bottom right. NY 96 runs north and south along the left side, crossing I-490 at top.
Exit numbers: From the New York State Thruway, Exit 45 is this, the eastern interchange with I-490. On I-490, Exit 29 is the third in a series of interchanges with NY 96; the Thruway interchange is unnumbered from I-490.
The interchange: The junction of I-490 and NY 96 shown here
(Exit 29) offers only partial connections, but coupled with the
interchange at Exit 28, it provides complete access. Functionally, Exit
29 is a full diamond interchange with certain turn movements
Access between the Thruway, via the easternmost stretch of I-490, and
96 in both directions, is available. However, I-490 eastbound traffic
top to bottom) has access only to NY 96 southbound, and at one time
here), NY 96 southbound had no access to I-490 westbound. Instead,
to and from these directions were made at Exit 28, which consists of
between I-490, to and from the west, and NY 96. This is an advantageous
as the section of NY 96 between exists 28 and 29 runs through a busy,
retail district, anchored by the Eastview Mall, and the delegation of
movements between the two interchanges helps to reduce bottleneck
at any one location. Still, to accommodate growing traffic demands, a
ramp was opened in 2003 from NY 96 southbound to I-490 westbound at
location, to supplement the one at Exit 28. One other unusual feature
the ramp from NY 96 northbound to I-490 westbound, which branches to
right, crossing under I-490 and intersecting it on the inside of its
to NY 96.
At the time of this photo, the interchange was under reconstruction, and a temporary ramp had been built for traffic from NY 96 to both directions of I-490. The permanent eastbound onramp had been closed, and is seen here freshly paved in new concrete. The temporary ramp was built just to the south of this, crossing the ramp from NY 96 north to I-490 west, which was also closed between NY 96 and the temporary ramp. The image also shows traffic sharing the eastbound roadway of I-490, as the westbound roadway and bridges were being reconstructed in concrete.
Thruway Interchange 45 uses the typical trumpet design, with one exceptional feature. A local road (Willowbrook Road) passes under the Thruway just inside of the eastbound entrance ramp gore, with the result that an additional underpass was built to carry the ramp. The underpasses used here, as throughout this section of the Thruway, are concrete box culverts. Interchange 45 was the location of a fatal bus accident in 2002.
Abandoned interchange: Before I-490 was built, in the very
earliest days of the Thruway, a cloverleaf interchange was built
between the Thruway and NY 96. The ramp embankments in the two northern
quadrants of that cloverleaf are still visible in this photo. Also,
in the southwest quadrant, property lines reflect the
former path of the eastbound offramp; in fact, this ramp existed as a
service roadway until the 1980's. Only
the southeast quadrant shows no trace of the old interchange.