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Today In History: The NYS Thruway Opens

Today In History: The NYS Thruway Opens

By Idy Perl

The NYS Thruway, which connects all major cities in New York, had its 70th birthday just a few days ago on June 24th.

The idea for a thruway that would connect all major New York cities to a nationwide network of highways was first proposed in 1949. The following year, the New York State Legislature created the New York State Thruway Authority, an independent corporation that would manage the thruway. 

On June 24 1954 the first part of the highway, which stretched 115-miles from Lowell to Rochester, opened to the public.  Throughout 1954 to 1956 multiple other parts of the highway between Buffalo and the Bronx, and then Yonkers south to the Bronx, opened as well. At that point in time the thruway was the longest toll road in the world. Between 1957 and 1960, roads were added to connect the thruway to multiple turnpikes in other states, including New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and more. 

There are 27 service areas along the NYS Thruway, all spaced approximately 30 miles apart.

Today, the entire thruway spans 569.83 miles in New York State. 

photos: NYS Thruway Authority


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