Interstate 287 encircles the greater New York City area along a 67.54-mile route in New Jersey and 31.18-mile alignment through New York state. Joining the north end of the Garden State Parkway with the Cross West Chester Expressway east of the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, I-287 combines with I-87 along the New York Thruway for 19.20 miles.

Interstate 287 Guides

Beginning at the transition of Route 440 south over the New Jersey Turnpike (I-95) at Edison Township, I-287 leads west to Metuchen, South Plainfield and Piscataway Township. A portion of this stretch was originally slated as Interstate 95, meant to link the route between the NJ Turnpike mainline and the proposed Somerset Freeway alignment southwest to Trenton. I-95 was formally dropped from this alignment in 1982 when the Somerset Freeway was cancelled.1

Beginning its northern turn, Interstate 287 winds around Bound Brook to Somerville, commingling with both U.S. 202 and 206 north to Pluckemin and Bedminster Township. A dual roadway configuration on this stretch separates through traffic from movements with Interstate 78. I-287 was completed north from Edison to U.S. 202/206 (Exit 22) in 1964.1

Climbing onto Second Watchung Mountain at Far Hills, Interstate 287 starts an eastern movement toward New York. I-287 winds through Bernards Township to Morristown, Hanover Township and Parsippany, where it meets Interstate 80. From 1973 to November 1993,1 the freeway ended just north of I-80 in Boonton (Exit 44 / U.S. 202).

The final stretch takes I-287 through Montville Township along Waughaw Mountain to Riverdale, Wanaque and another climb through the southern Ramapo Mountains. There the route turns eastward again, straddling the hillside of Campgraw Mountain through Franklin Lakes to Mahwah Township and an exit from New Jersey at Houvenkopf Mountain. Completion of I-287 took place in August 1994, when the interchange with the New York Thruway (I-87) was upgraded to incorporate high-speed ramps.1

Running east along the New York Thruway from Suffern, I-87/287 travel to Spring Valley, West Nyack and the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge spanning the Hudson River to Tarrytown. I-87 (New York Thruway) turns south at Elmsford toward New York City while I-287 shifts onto the Cross Westchester Expressway, a heavily traveled commuter route east to White Plains and I-95 (New England Thruway) at Rye.

Westchester County, NY - 1958

The Cross Westchester Expressway under construction in 1958.

The 10.3 mile long Cross Westchester Expressway fully opened to traffic on December 27, 1960.2 Governor Rockefeller stated at a opening ceremony that the highway was a:

$40 million investment in human progress.

Interstate 287 scenes
Interstate 287 trailblazer, since replaced, posted on South Street (CR 601) beyond the split with Madison Avenue (Route 124) in Morristown. Ramps connect both South Street south and Route 124 east with adjacent I-287 north. 07/28/00
South Street (CR 601) parallels I-287 just to the east to a loop ramp onto the freeway north. This vintage shield posted at the entrance ramp was replaced. 07/28/00
Button copy overheads directed motorists along Route 10 at Hanover Township to a directional cloverleaf interchange with I-287. Boonton is the pre-1993 control city for I-287 north, remaining from when the route terminated there. 07/28/00
Route 10 (Mt. Pleasant Avenue) west approaches Interstate 287 from Whippany. 10/01/05
Route 10 west reaches the northbound entrance ramp to Interstate 287. Older guide signs here reflect Boonton as well. 10/01/05
A directional ramp leaves Route 10 west to combine with the eastbound ramp before joining Interstate 287 south ahead of Morristown. 10/01/05
A folded diamond interchange joins Midland Avenue with I-287 (Cross Westchester Expressway) west and I-95 (New England Thruway) north in the city of Rye. 10/03/04

Sources:
  1. Interstate 287 (New Jersey), NYCRoads.com.
  2. "Thruway Link Opens." The Kingston Daily Freeman (NY), December 28, 1960.


Photo Credits:

  • 07/28/00 by AARoads.
  • 10/03/04 by AARoads and Carter Buchanan.
  • 10/01/05 by Justin Cozart.

Connect with:
Interstate 78
Interstate 80
Interstate 87
Interstate 95
Interstate 684
Garden State Parkway
U.S. 1
U.S. 22
U.S. 206
Route 440

Page Updated 05-29-2014.

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