Interchange of the Week
Monday, 9 July 2001
New York State Thruway - Exits 16 and 17, Harriman-Newburgh
A full-size image (563 KB) is also available.

Exit 16

Orientation: The New York State Thruway (Interstate 87) runs diagonally at bottom right and is met by the "Quickway", a freeway running toward top left. NY 17 enters at bottom left on a surface highway, then turns to the left onto the Quickway; the surface highway continues as NY 32. That part of the Quickway connecting NY 17 with the Thruway carries the reference route designation 984C. Upon completion of upgrades to the Quickway and the Southern Tier Expressway, Interstate 86 will extend to this point (it currently ends at Horseheads).

US 6 enters at bottom right, curving around the Thruway interchange to cross over the NY 17 surface road before merging with the Quickway. US 6 overlaps NY 17 on the Quickway as far west as Goshen.

Exit numbers: Exit 16 on the New York State Thruway is for NY 17, to US 6. Exit 130A from the Quickway is for US 6 east to Bear Mountain. Exit 131 is for NY 17 south and NY 32 north, as well as serving US 6 east from the Thruway.

The interchange: This interchange marks the southern limit of the New York State Thruway ticket system, within which tolls are collected at each interchange rather than at mainline toll barriers. Two tollgates are visible in this photo. Through traffic on the Thruway mainline passes through the Woodbury barrier, located within the trumpet interchange for Exit 16, where northbound travellers collect their toll tickets and southbound travellers pay their tolls. Traffic using Exit 16 passes through the Harriman tollgate located on the "stem" of the trumpet. Here, northbound-exiting and southbound-entering motorists pay a fixed toll (currently 75 cents for passenger cars), while those exiting southbound pay, according to the ticket schedule, a slightly lower toll than they would at the Woodbury barrier. Those motorists entering the Thruway northbound pass through both tollgates, first paying the fixed toll at Harriman, then collecting a ticket at Woodbury, on which the fares are reduced in proportion to the toll already paid. This rather complicated toll structure is executed by means of dedicated lanes through the toll plaza for the various entrances and exits.

The first westbound interchange on the Quickway, Exit 131, is a five-ramp partial cloverleaf serving all local connections for NY 17 and NY 32, and marks the point where NY 17 enters and leaves the Quickway. For westbound travellers (i.e., exiting the Thruway) this interchange provides access also to US 6 east. Before the mid-1990's, Exit 131 was also the means of access for US 6 east from the eastbound Quickway, and was the point where US 6 entered the same. Since that time, a connector has been built from a new Exit 130A just west of Exit 131. The half-diamond interchange with NY 17, serving traffic to and from the east, replaces an earlier T-intersection.

Of note here is the southbound entrance ramp to the Thruway: it branches off the "trumpet" in advance of the Norfolk Southern Railroad, which it crosses on a separate overpass (recently widened from two to four lanes, as shown here in progress). However, remains are clearly seen of an older ramp located entirely between the railroad and the Thruway. This ramp obviously contained a substandard curve radius and was replaced by the new ramp.

A full-size image (463 KB) is also available.

Exit 17

Orientation: The Thruway mainline (Interstate 87) runs from bottom to top at left, while Interstate 84 runs left to right across the top. NY 17K is the surface road at bottom, while NY 300 is that which runs from bottom to top at center.

Exit numbers: Exit 17 on the Thruway mainline is for NY 17K and Interstate 84 to Newburgh, and also serves NY 300. Exit 7 on Interstate 84 is for NY 300 to Newburgh, and for the Thruway (I-87).

The interchange: The connection between the Thruway and NY 17K is of the usual "trumpet" type, although it crosses NY 300 on an overpass. The interchange between I-84 and NY 300 is a full cloverleaf, also a standard design. What is unusual here is that the two Interstate highways, I-84 and I-87, do not intersect directly. It is an even more peculiar circumstance, now that Interstate 84 falls under the jurisdiction of the New York State Thruway Authority, that two major components of the Thruway system are not directly connected. They are joined only by a section of NY 300, itself joined to the Thruway connector by ramps to and from the north. However, the Thruway authority has announced a $40 million project to construct the missing connection. The existing Exit 17 ramps will serve a new interchange on I-84 between I-87 and NY 300. This will overlap a reconfigured diamond interchange between I-84 and NY 300. The existing Thruway ramps to NY 300 will be removed and new ramps, affording full connections, will be built within the diamond interchange. The current Thruway exit to NY 17K will remain, but as a one-way ramp available only to E-ZPass users. The entrance from NY 17K will be eliminated.

In the photo, the interchange between I-84 and NY 300 has been temporarily reconfigured with the removal of the loop ramp from NY 300 south to I-84 east and a new left turn from NY 300 onto the northbound-to-eastbound ramp. The beginnings are visible of the new exit ramp from I-84 east to NY 300.

New York State Thruway,
Quickway, and
Interstate 84 (New York) at Steve Anderson's
New York State Thruway Authority official site.
Exit 17 Reconstruction Project official site.

<< Back