Interstate 287

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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. The freeway shares 19.20 miles with its parent along the New York Thruway, joining the north end of the Garden State portion with the Cross West Chester Expressway east of the Tappen Zee Bridge.

Beginning at the transition of New Jersey 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 the 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 more eastward again, straddling the hillside of Campgraw Mountain through Franklin Lakes to Mahwah Township and an exit of the state 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

Interstate 287 New Jersey Highway Guides


Interstate 287 scenes
Interstate 287 trailblazer, since replaced, posted on South Street (CR 601) beyond the split with Madison Avenue (NJ 124) in Morristown. Both South Street south and NJ 124 east see ramps to adjacent I-287 north. Photo taken 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 on-ramp was replaced. Photo taken 07/28/00.
Button copy overheads direct motorists along New Jersey 10 at Hanover Township to a directional cloverleaf interchange with Interstate 287. Boonton is the pre-1993 control city for I-287 north, remaining from when the route terminated there. Photo taken 07/28/00.
New Jersey 10 (Mt. Pleasant Avenue) west approaches Interstate 287 from Whippany. Photo taken 10/01/05.
New Jersey 10 west reaches the northbound on-ramp to Interstate 287. Older guide signs here reflect Boonton as well. Photo taken 10/01/05.
A directional ramp leaves NJ 10 west to combine with the eastbound ramp before joining Interstate 287 south ahead of Morristown. Photo taken 10/01/05.

Sources:

  1. Interstate 287 (New Jersey), NYCRoads.com.


Photo Credits:

    07/28/00 by AARoads. 10/01/05 by Justin Cozart.

Connect with:
Interstate 78
Interstate 80
Interstate 95
U.S. 1
U.S. 22
U.S. 206

Page Updated 05-29-2014.