$172M interchange improvement project for 390, 490 officially complete


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A major infrastructure project in Rochester is officially completed.

Gov. Kathy Hochul and other elected officials celebrated the completion of the $172.8 million 390/490/Route 31 Interchange Improvement Project Tuesday.

This multi-phase project, which began in 2016, repaired or replaced seven bridges, created a new exit ramp connecting Interstate 390 to Lyell Avenue, constructed the new southbound I-390 Flyover, and made several other improvements to reduce congestion and enhance safety, according to officials from the governor’s office, who added The project was completed a month ahead of schedule and on budget. 

“Ensuring our roadways are safe and well maintained is a critical component of helping grow local economies and this project will be a game changer for Monroe County,” Gov. Hochul said. “With this work now complete, these roadways will not only be safer and less congested, but we are also helping ensure the Finger Lakes region remains economically competitive as we continue to recover from the pandemic.”

According to the governor’s office, The corridor connects nearly 200,000 daily motorists to centers of economic activity, including the Greater Rochester International Airport, the Rochester Technology Park, the Eastman Business Park, and downtown Rochester. They say the improvements are “central to enhancing attractiveness for the City of Rochester and surrounding areas to global businesses.”

State officials said details of the project included:

  • “Phase One began in 2016 and included the replacement and widening of the Lyell Avenue bridge over I-390. It was completed in the summer of 2018.
  • Phase Two included the rehabilitation of structures carrying Route 390 over the Erie Canal, the creation of new ramps from and to Route 390 north from Lyell Avenue (State Route 31) and the widening and paving of travel lanes along the interchange. It was completed in late 2019. Phase Two also included the installation of new concrete sound barriers featuring historic imagery of the Erie Canal’s role in the state’s transportation system.
  • Phase Three encompassed the addition of an exit only lane on I-390 to Chili Ave and the construction of the new Interstate 390 Flyover, a central component of the project that opened in September and allowed southbound through traffic to travel above the busy interchange and avoid vehicles merging and exiting the highway.  Construction of the Flyover involved the building of three new bridges to cross over I-490 eastbound, I-490 westbound and a newly reconfigured ramp connecting I-490 westbound to I-390 southbound. Additionally, the aging Buffalo Road (State Route 33) Bridge over I-390 was replaced with a modern, multi-girder bridge to accommodate the new traffic pattern. Nearly 15,000 feet of new concrete sound walls were also added to mitigate noise impacts for nearby residents.
  • Phase Four widened and resurfaced the roadway along Lyell Avenue (Route 31) between Route 390 and Howard Road, including the installation of new sidewalks, bicycle lanes and drainage systems in the corridor.”

Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, “Like the completion of the Erie Canal did nearly two centuries ago, the new I-390/I-490 interchange project will usher in a new era for the movement of people and goods in upstate New York, enhancing safety, reducing congestion and helping communities like Rochester and Monroe County flourish. It is all together fitting that we pay homage to the Erie Canal with our decorative sound barriers as this new interchange demonstrates yet again how investments in infrastructure improve quality of life and foster economic growth.  With construction now complete, travelers can now take advantage of a modern, efficient and more resilient interchange that  is ready to meet the demands of the 21st Century.”

Senator Chuck Schumer said, “The completion of the Interchange Improvement Project is tremendous news for Monroe County, and will pave the way for economic development opportunities in the greater Rochester area for years to come. I fought hard to secure over $32 million in federal funding to improve the safety and traffic flow between I-390, I-490, and Route 31 for the residents, visitors and businesses which rely on this vital corridor for daily needs. I am proud to have secured funding for these major upgrades which will be a green light for new companies seeking to move into the area, curb accidents, reduce congestion, and drive the Monroe County economy forward like never before.”

Representative Joe Morelle said, “When we invest in our roads in bridges, we invest in the success of our community – and today’s announcement delivers a critical investment into Monroe County’s success. I am grateful to Governor Kathy Hochul, Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez, and our countless local partners for their dedication to this project and their commitment to the safety of everyone who calls Rochester home. With the recent bipartisan infrastructure package I helped pass in Congress, I look forward to continuing our work together to strengthen our community’s infrastructure for years to come.”

State Senator Jeremy Cooney said, “The Interchange Improvement Project will help ensure safer, more efficient traffic patterns along interstates 390, 490, and Route 31 and in the greater Gates area while keeping a vital transportation corridor running smoothly. This is a needed win for the Rochester area. I am grateful that our state and local leaders came together and made this project possible.”

Assemblymember Sarah Clark said, “The I-390/I-490 Interchange Project is an important highway improvement at a critical junction used by hundreds of thousands drivers daily, so this completion is wonderful news for our community. These changes improve local commuting while also supporting increased traffic from outside visitors, and will undoubtedly ensure safer traffic conditions throughout Rochester. Given the important businesses connected throughout this corridor, these improvements will also directly benefit our local economy. Thank you to Governor Hochul and the NYS Department of Transportation for investing heavily in our local infrastructure here and I look forward to working together on future projects in our region.”

Assemblymember Demond Meeks said, “Thousands of members of our community depend on the I-490/I-390 Interchange for access to local resources and opportunities for employment. It is essential that we continue to take every opportunity possible to improve driver safety and deliver improvements where they are needed most along these routes. With a $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure bill fast approaching, it is important that we remain intentional about utilizing these improvements to connect members of our community to both current and future job opportunities. I thank Governor Hochul and the members of the New York State Department of Transportation for their commitment towards building an interconnected and inclusive network for Greater Rochester.”

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said, “The 390/490/Lyell interchanges connect more than 200,000 daily motorists with their communities and the centers of our economic activity such as the Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport, Rochester Technology Park, Eastman Business Center and downtown Rochester. This is a smart, transformative infrastructure investment in one of our most important traffic corridors and helps position us to meet the challenges of the 21st Century. I thank residents for their patience throughout construction-related inconveniences, Sens. Gillibrand and Schumer for pushing federal Fastlane funding to kickstart the project, Gov. Hochul for her continued support and the state Department of Transportation for their quality work on this project.”

Gates Town Supervisor Cosmo Giunta said, “I am very excited and wanted to congratulate DOT for successfully completing the project and keeping us involved in every step. I know the residents have benefited from the sidewalks, sound barriers and the Lyell Avenue and Buffalo Road bridges not to mention the beautification it has brought to my town.  I feel that the new overpass bridge has enhanced traffic flow and will alleviate the traffic congestion we’ve experienced on the 390/490 split for a few decades. They were excellent to work with and I look forward to their next big project.”

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